NEW DELHI: After toothpaste, biscuits and noodles, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has opened another flank to take on big established players —the fast growing sacred space. Patanjali Ayurveda will roll out more than one hundred products to stake claim in the Rs 8,000-crore organised home worship category, under the brand name Patanjali Astha.Worship is a rapidly growing category, with online players like Amazon too reporting high double digit growth of worship products. The Patanjali Astha products, which include agarbatti, dhoop, samagri, brass diyas and so on, will hit stores in the next two months. ITC forayed in this space two years back with its Mangaldeep brand of agarbatti.
“We are creating the new brand – Astha. Research has shown that a lot of established players use chemicals in worship products like incense sticks and dhoop which end up harming consumers. There is a need for natural products in this space,”Patanjali’s managing director Acharya Balkrishna told ET. Before Diwali in end-October, Patanjali is expected to tie up with close to 1,500 dealers dealing with worship products and reach three lakh plus stores, an official aware of the plans said.
“We will definitely be in stores well before the festive quarter,” Balkrishna said. The products will be exclusively distributed by Pittie Group and under Shubhkart – an online marketplace that caters exclusively to religious and spiritual products.
“The range of products are of pre-eminent quality, and will comprise of multiple products and variants,” Pittie group chief executive Aditya Pittie said. Pittie Group is a diversified group and is Patanjali’s national modern trade distributor for their FMCG range.
“We are looking at increasing the selection in the puja category with new brands coming on board,” an Amazon India spokesperson said, adding that in terms of orders received, the increase has been double over the period from January to July this year. “We are expecting the momentum to increase rapidly owing to the upcoming festive season. Some of the most popular products are from the precious metal category which include Ganpati jewellery (jewellery for decorating Ganpati idols), diyas, lamps and thalis,” the Amazon spokesperson added. Amazon said it gets maximum orders coming from Mumbai, Bangalore, Thrissur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.
Industry estimates peg the agarbatti market to be as high as Rs 20,000 crore, of which only Rs 2,500 crore is organised. Besides ITC’s Mangaldeep, other significant players include Cycle, Mysore Deep.
Spiritual guru Baba Ramdev promoted Patanjali has been challenging established players including Dabur, Colgate and ITC across categories such as toothpaste, biscuits and noodles, prompting leading consumer-facing multinational brands from Colgate to L’Oreal among others, to launch products in the ‘natural ayurveda’ space.