P&G rolling out small, dissolvable packets of detergent called Tide Pods, which tout convenience and cost about 25% more per load than liquid; rivals Church & Dwight, Dial, Sun Products coming out with similar products

LOS ANGELES , February 23, 2012 () –

Procter & Gamble Co. is launching a new form for its Tide laundry detergent that will add value while offering convenience, and some of the consumer product company’s competitors are following suit, reported The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 23.

This week, P&G is rolling out its new Tide Pods, which are small, dissolvable packets of detergent that will cost 25% more per load than liquid Tide, which has been the company’s highest price laundry detergent for nearly three decades.

P&G executives say that certain consumers, such as busy mothers, will pay extra for the convenience of Tide Pods.

Similar added-value convenience products are being introduced by P&G’s rivals. This includes Arm & Hammer Power Pack from Church & Dwight Co., Purex UltraPacks from Dial Corp., and Sun Products Corp.’s All Mighty Pacs, the Journal reported.

Tide Pods will cost the consumer US$0.25 to $0.32 per load compared with about $0.22 per load for Tide Original Liquid, according to P&G’s data. The suggested retail price for 35 Tide Pods is $9.99.

The figures do not take into account the opinion of some manufacturers and analysts that many consumers use more than the recommended amount of liquid detergent when doing their laundry, so they may be paying more per load than Tide’s research indicates, reported the Journal.

P&G expects to sell $300 million of Tide Pods in the first year and for the product to grow into a category that represents 30% of the laundry-detergent market in 10 years, said Alex Keith, VP of the company’s North American fabric care unit.

Tide Pods, which P&G CEO Robert McDonald says is the first new evolution in laundry detergent since Tide liquid was rolled out in 1984, has been eight years in developing and testing, including trials by more than 6,000 consumers, the Journal reported.

About a decade ago, Tide was unsuccessful with a new product it called Tide Tabs, which were a single-dose, powder tablet. Consumers complained that it didn’t dissolve well and that they preferred to control the dosage, according to a former P&G employee.

The average U.S. household washes nearly 400 loads of laundry a year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Last year, the market was estimated at $7.2 billion in an analysis of Euromonitor data by Sanford C. Bernstein, reported the Journal.

The primary source of this article is The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York, on Feb. 23, 2012.

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