Natural products are really natural ?

In India, the personal care product gain popularity round the same time & the market is predicted to succeed in $20 billion by 2025

Honey Food
Picture: Pixabay

Last Updated on November 11, 2020 by The Health Master

Humans have a natural urge of looking attractive. Different societies used alternative ways to fulfil this urge stating from using the ornaments to colouring the eyebrows or eyelashes since past . Even a number of our Vedic literature , like Manusmiriti or Vishnu Purana, has mentioned the codes of personal hygiene. Archaeological excavation has also confirmed the utilization of private hygiene products in past .

In times , till 1900, personal hygiene products were only available to high strata of the society especially actors. it had been the first 20th century, that saw the establishment of a number of the foremost popular care companies like Loreal & Maybelline. This was the time when folk started accessing these products through general stores. Today, the personal care industry generates a staggering $250 billion annual retail sales worldwide.

In India, the personal care product gain popularity round the same time & the market is predicted to succeed in $20 billion by 2025. Today, the private hygiene industry has developed a replacement section called mom & baby care, which has exploited the urge of family and fogeys to supply the expecting mother and new-born the simplest of care.

The initial entry during this segment was from well-known pharmaceuticals. However, with time there was an increasing demand for natural products for the babies and mothers to eliminate any chances of bad-effects on their health, which paved way for the businesses like Dabur, Himalaya to enter the segment.

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As the Ayurveda was the inspiration of the new entries, they developed a distinct segment clientele for themselves who don’t want to use chemicals & relied on the facility of nature & Ayurveda for the hygiene of the mothers & babies. Recently, there has been a flood of mother & baby products by new-age companies who claimed to be natural but are those products really natural?

The marketing has always been questioned within the care & hygiene industry. The way marketing teams of the brands play with words to realize their financial goals has been reiterated & demonstrated multiple times. Time & again, questions are raised about the utilization of celebrities or misleading ad campaigns to extend the demand for products. Surely, marketing teams have their own rationale behind their campaigns but it had been not until recently that a product chemically is marketed as a natural product. this is often a replacement low of selling ethics that the new-age companies are promoting.

New-age brands like MamaEarth, who have recently entered the universe of mom and baby care products have multiple products that they claim to be natural, sometimes directly & sometimes through e-commerce websites. However, if someone goes through the ingredient list, it’s not difficult to understand that products contain chemicals. Surely, they need to be using the chemicals that haven’t any scientific evidence of doing any harm to the body but by claiming those products to be natural, they’re surely cheating the customer .

Sometimes, the ingredient list contains secret ingredients, which nobody knows are natural or chemical. On the opposite hand, if we see the products of Himalaya or Dabur or Emami, the established old ones, despite using maximum natural ingredients, they never claim their products to be natural. the businesses got to understand that there’s a difference between a secure product & a natural product. Calling a product with chemical ingredients, natural rather than safe is that the same as calling a non-veg dish vegetarian because you used the chicken from the simplest meat shop, which has the history of providing the simplest meat with no chances of bird flu.

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Another concerning trend, which is visible within the marketing strategy of the new-age brands like TheMomsCo, is endorsing the products through foreign agencies. The credibility of the claims like “Australian Certified” will remain questionable until there’s a national body that check out the credibility of the claims made by these companies.

The routine to become the amount 1 company within the market & to grab the most important share within the market pie, the new companies are exploiting the requirements of their customers by misleading labelling. As there’s no strict scrutiny by any agency , there’s no fear of any consequences. The layman rarely has the time or resources to fight for such misleading labels or advertisements until it affects them within the worst way possible.

It is understandable that each company wants to face aside from the gang of competition and it’s well within their rights to plug and advertise their products; however, it should be done keeping the morals high and following the marketing ethics. Until the govt doesn’t form workplace which looks into the labelling standards for private hygiene and mother & baby care products, it’s the moral responsibility of each single player within the market to not exploit the user and practice ethical marketing to form their customer an informed buyer rather than making them a fooled buyer. Also, it’s the responsibility of each buyer that they don’t pass the massive fonts of “Natural” but spend a while browsing the ingredient list.

by Dr Chandrakant S Pandav
Former HoD, Department of Community Health, AIIMS, New Delhi
Former President Indian Public Health Association

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