P&G; Joins Unilever NV In Concentrated Detergent Offerings


Wash out the old, wring in the new praise of Tide, Gain, Era, and Dreft for a new marketing trend may come to the US. Detergent makers some years ago start concentrating their European market detergent formulations; helping to meet mandated packaging waste reduction targets. Finally, there is movement to do the same in the US. Exiting soon, we hope, will be the business model where US consumers are urged with coupons to go for the biggest, most gawdawful colored bottles, covered with eye-jabbing labels, and containing a few smidgens of active ingredient diluted with much water and some sodium silicate. In this traditional model, also, a foaming agent that has nothing whatsoever to do with product efficacy is generally added, to fulfill an inappropriate 19th Century simile ("if you see suds, you've added enough soap"). Collateral damage to be avoided by the new super concentrated and much greener detergents: wasted water, wasted shipping space, excess packaging; added petrochemical consumption and C02 emissions. (Please, ohh please, consider dropping the old-lady-on-the-bus scent and all trace of foaming agents).

Think this is happening because the US market is greening? Think again: "A bottle of the new concentrated detergent washes the same amount of clothing as a bottle of normal detergent but are about half of the size. The new bottles are made with up to 47 percent less plastic and have up to 45 percent less water than before, P&G; said. The move comes more than two years after consumer packaged goods companies such as P&G; began to feel pressure from higher raw materials costs, particularly for the plastic used in packaging".

There was important help from our old friend Wal-Mart. Per the above-linked story: "This was more of a Wal-Mart mandate than a PG-led initiative, but if the changeover goes smoothly, PG, the retailer and consumer win," Deutsche Bank said in a note to its clients this week. Corroborating this point, Dow Jones Newswire reported this week "The move by P&G; follows a decision earlier this year by Unilever NV (UN), which began selling All Small & Mighty, a concentrated bottle of All detergent, at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) earlier this year".