ITC Logo
Media Centre
Press Report

ITC takes consumers on board to create products
The Times of India - 14 Jun 2012

ITC, the latest national entrant in the Rs 30,000 crore personal care products (PCP) space with home grown brands, has gone one step forward to hasten the process of new product development. It is taking customers on board while developing a new product in Laboratoire Naturel (LN), a consumer interaction and product development centre which enables consumers and scientist to work together to create innovative products.

It may be noted that the FMCG-to-hotel major has already entered Rs 200 crore PCP brand club with home-grown mid-market brand Vivel and popular segment brand Superia. Fiama Di Wills, the premium PCP brand, is also growing fast and LN is concentrating on this premium brand to boost its growth. The chief scientist of LN, V Krishnan, argued that LN is helping in reducing the product launch time.

"As of now, most of the PCP products are being introduced through a test-marketing method. The reason behind this is customer feedback before spreading the product in larger geographies. But here in LN, we are taking the feedback from customers while working on a new product line. This is helping in reducing the time for introducing new products," Krishnan added.

According to him, LN combines psychometric, sensory and instrumental evaluation to provide fundamental understanding of consumer behaviour and the factors that control their choice of personal care products. "Like we have understood through interaction that men's soap should have a foam characteristics. Accordingly, we changed our men's soap," he added.

The scientist pointed out that 50% of the products innovated at LN has already been introduced in the Fiama portfolio. It has also got 40 product patents in PCP category. He pointed out that after successfully marketing patented products in India, LN may look for global patents as well in future. "This is a possibility," he added. PCP is part of the new FMCG business of ITC which is slowly approaching breakeven point by reducing losses in last few quarters. In H1 of 2011-12, the new FMCG business achieved a turnover of Rs 2,546 crore.

Click here to know more about Personal Care Business