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Evolution of Ayurveda in India and Beyond

November 2019

Ayurveda in India has evolved from a traditional system of medicine to scientifically backed and modern beauty formulations. The use of Ayurvedic herbs, which traditionally focused on inner wellbeing, gradually expanded to skin and hair care regimes. Healthier lifestyles paved the way for a new wave of Ayurveda, with more focus on holistic wellbeing. Ayurvedic brands are engaging more with consumers while also stressing the importance of diet, meditation and yoga as part of a daily routine.

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Key Findings

Ayurveda: From a traditional form of medicine to skin and hair care regimes

Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine and one of the oldest wellness trends in India, with its roots and practices dating back over 5,000 years. Traditionally, Ayurvedic herbs such as coriander, cumin and fennel were used to create various Kashayams (decoctions) for indigestion, coughs, colds and inner wellbeing. As consumers realised the benefits of Ayurvedic herbs beyond inner wellness, the trend of using them at home for hair and skin care regimes became a common phenomenon.

Ayurveda in India has come full-circle, with a focus back to its roots

Ayurveda initially started out with consumers preparing home remedies. To tap into this potential and target a larger consumer base, legacy companies launched packaged Ayurvedic beauty and personal care products. Over the course of time, however, Western beauty brands gained popularity in India with their attractive product claims and packaging. However, the revival of Ayurveda occurred during the 21st century, with emerging companies using different strategies along with differentiated products in comparison with legacy Ayurvedic companies.

The advent of Ayurveda 2.0 in India, with a focus on holistic wellbeing

These start-up/emerging companies took Ayurveda to a new level by associating it with luxury and propagating its use for maintaining mind and body balance and overall wellness. In addition to propagating the benefits and efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs, these companies engaged directly with consumers pre- and post-purchase, while also stressing the importance of diet, meditation and yoga as part of an individual’s daily routine.

The concept of Ayurveda is gaining momentum in global markets

In the Asia Pacific region, consumers are moving towards beauty and personal care products containing natural and plant-based ingredients, which has aided the popularity of Ayurveda in the region. In developed countries across North America and Western Europe, Ayurvedic beauty brands are popular among niche consumer segments engaged in sister concepts to Ayurveda, such as meditation and yoga.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

What is Ayurveda?

Introduction to the concept of Ayurveda
The mind and the body are inextricably connected
Traditional Ayurvedic remedies focused on inner wellness
Ayurvedic herbs expanded from skin ailments to skin care regimes
Ingredients and processing are crucial for an Ayurvedic positioning
Popular Ayurvedic ingredients and their cosmetic uses
Panchavidha Kashaya Kalpana: the science of processing or extraction

Evolution of Ayurveda

Ayurveda in India: from traditional science to commercialisation
1880-2000: pre-commercialisation to the advent of Western beauty
2000-2019: Ayurveda 2.0 focuses on holistic wellbeing
Case study: Dabur India Ltd reverts to Ayurveda…
…and modernises Ayurveda to cater to younger consumers
Case study: Emami Ltd invests in scientific studies and R&D…
…to revisit less explored areas of Ayurveda
Blurring lines between Ayurvedic and non-Ayurvedic companies

Ayurveda 2.0

The potential for Ayurveda 2.0 to become mainstream in India
Era of Ayurveda 2.0: complete focus on holistic wellbeing
The shift from price sensitivity to value-consciousness
Interest in botanicals helped by consumer engagement initiatives
Low per capita spend and urbanisation hold promise for new entrants
Case study: Forest Essentials offers products with premium formulations…
…and appealing packaging to associate Ayurveda with luxury
Case study: Just Herbs focuses on enhancing transparency, trust…
…and offering innovative products through crowdsourced feedback
Dosha analysis is surprisingly common in India and developed markets

Ayurveda in the Global Context

Domestic companies scale up their global operations
International companies compete with local Ayurvedic brands
Ayurvedic brands ride the wellness trend in Asia Pacific
Indian Ayurveda extends its reach to key markets in Asia Pacific
Ayurveda is associated with yoga in North America and Europe
Key takeaways

Appendix

Popular Ayurvedic herbs and their cosmetic uses
Tridoshas and its relation to the five elements
Dosha analysis allows for customised product offerings
Data parameters and report definitions
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