Unilever: Using Horlicks's Brand Equity to Lead
In December 2018, Hindustan Unilever Limited announced that it would buy out GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Consumer Healthcare Ltd. India business, which included popular brands such as Horlicks, Boost, and Viva. With Horlicks in its portfolio, Hindustan Unilever Limited expected to gain market share, draw synergies from individual strengths, and gain access to a larger consumer base. However, India's health food drink category had registered only single-digit growth in 2017. Its primary target audience of parents, physicians, and nutritionists had concerns regarding the side effects of sugar as a key ingredient in beverages such as Horlicks. With consumer focus shifting to healthier, preservative-free alternatives, among other issues, Hindustan Unilever Limited was faced with a challenge: how could it build on Horlicks's brand equity to sustain its leadership position in the disrupting health food drink market, leverage its leadership position to grow the company in this segment, and take that growth to double digits? Sanchita Krishna is affiliated with Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. Sandeep Puri is affiliated with Asian Institute of Management. Rakesh Singh is affiliated with Bennett University.