The iconic Mysore Sandal soap maker Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL), which created sensation in the toilet soap market with the launch of India’s first super-premium soap, Mysore Sandal Millennium six years ago, is now set to revamp the brand to make it affordable. The company is changing the packaging of the soap to bring down its cost, a top company official said.
The state-owned company made history by pricing the Millennium soap at Rs 700-800 for a 150-gram bar, which is 10-12 times higher than the most expensive soap sold in the country. Currently, the soap is priced at Rs 810 per packet. Incidentally, the other expensive soap brand sold in India is also from KSDL. Its Mysore Sandal Centennial Soap is priced at Rs 100 for a 100-gram bar, while Mysore Sandal Gold is sold at Rs 80 per piece for a 125-gram soap.
Despite pricing the Millennium soap far higher than the competition, the company has succeeded in selling the soap across the country and in export markets. For the year ended March 2019, the company sold 54,000 pieces compared to 7,200 pieces in its first year of launch in 2013-14. The super-premium soap category is not much crowded in India. Some of the other soaps available in the category are Hermes, Olay and soaps from Amway, sold in the price range of Rs 750 to Rs 6,000.
“Mysore Sandal Millennium is so far the most expensive soap manufactured and sold by an Indian company. We will very soon come out with a new variant of Millennium soap to make it more affordable,” M R Ravikumar, Managing Director, KSDL told DH.
The company uses some of the most expensive perfumes – both imported and local — other than its own proprietary sandalwood oil, special conditioners, moisturisers, and Vitamin-E among others to manufacture the Millennium soap. It was developed at its in-house research and development centre in Bengaluru.
The soap is derived from pure vegetable oil base, and enriched with natural essential oils such as Vetivert, Guaicwood, Patchouli, Geranium, Petitgrain, Orange, Cedarwood, Palmrose, Clove among others.
The company has also used a special packaging for the soap. It will be stretch wrapped in polyfilm to retain the precious fragrance and visibility of the product. It is packed in a unique carton, with self-locking flip lid at the top.
Square to oval
As part of its revamp measures for the Millennium soap, KSDL is planning to do away with the existing package and pack it in a simple carton box. It is also changing the design of the soap case inside. It will create a new box with holes in it for water to drain out.
“We are also changing the shape of the soap from the existing square shape to oval shape so that it will be easy to hold while bathing. Once we go for a new design and packaging, we will be able to bring down the cost of the soap by at least Rs 100 per piece. Accordingly, we will reduce the price of the soap for the existing 150-gram soap,” Ravikumar said.
He said the company is also planning to come out with a new 100-gram variant at a much lesser price point to make it even more affordable to many customers. In all possibility, the company will launch the new design packs next month ahead of Dasara festival.
Apart from revamping Millennium soap, KSDL is also planning to launch new extensions in its soap, and floor-cleaners range under the Kleenol brand.
The company ‘s Research and Development team is also developing many other products including new varieties of bath soaps. The company expects to bring them to the market in the next one year.