DETERGENT MARKET UPDATE
Rosenberg. “We spend more time on
the sustainability side of the business
than we do on the advocacy work.
We have five people in our technical
department and three in government
He added that ACI member com-
panies are involved in a wide array of
projects to reduce the environmental
footprint of their products, as well as
ensuring the safety of its products.
One of its biggest product safety
programs is the two-year-old Be the
Key pledge to ensure that consumers
are safely storing unit dose detergent
packs to avoid accidental ingestion
by children. At press time, more than
50,000 people had taken the pledge
and ACI is devoting another $500,000
in 2015 to get the word out about the
importance of correctly storing unit
dose detergent packs.
Just last month, ACI teamed up
with the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) to help keep children
safe and prevent injury. According to industry statistics, seven
million consumers head to laundromats every week. The collaboration brings together ACI’s expertise in consumer education and
CLA’s influential membership base of laundromat owners across
“ACI is pleased to announce this partnership with the CLA
as we work together to prevent accidents when laundry is done
outside the home,” said Nancy Bock, senior VP-education, ACI.
“Children act fast and so do accidents, so we are urging laundromat owners, staff and the public to keep liquid laundry detergent
packets away from children.”
Indigestion over Ingestion
While ACI is taking the lead on the accidental ingestion issue
surrounding unit dose packs, P&G has been making changes of
its own regarding packaging design, labeling and in information
campaigns, noted Candido.
Tide Pods’ packaging is now opaque so the detergent packs
cannot be seen. P&G added a triple-latch lid to the container
and at the end of last year, introduced a new zipper seal for its
“These changes make it more difficult for smaller, younger
hands to open, while still providing access for adults and enabling
them to re-close the package with ease,” explained Candido.
P&G enhanced the safety warnings and their prominence via
icons and printed instructions on the package to make it very
clear that these products should be stored out of the reach of
“These messages appear not only
on our packaging, but also in our TV
and print advertisements, our web-
site, and all of our communications
representing Tide Pods,” explained
Candido.“We’ve also worked with re-
tailers to enroll them in sharing this
information with their shoppers at
P&G launched Safe Home, which
has been promoted through vari-
ous media outlets to drive home safe
home care practices, especially in
the laundry room. As part of this ef-
fort, P&G has given away more than
617,800 cabinet latches and thou-
sands of consumers have seen the in-
Within the medical community,
P&G partnered with the American
Academy of Pediatrics to inform pediatricians and parents about the
safe use of detergent packs. Together,
“We distributed a laundry pack safety poster to AAP pediatricians for display in their offices. We’ve also provided information
in AAP publications and social media channels (HealthyChildren.
org),” noted Candido.
Finally, P&G is supporting the development of a voluntary
international standard for safe packaging, storage, and handling
of detergent packs. The company has been actively involved in
the development of a new packaging and storage standard for
laundry packs with the Consumer Product Safety Commission
and European Commission, according to Candido.
While the industry and its association tackles the issue of accidental ingestion head-on, even as they grapple with each other and
private label brands on-shelf, they’re not overlooking innovation.
At press time, neither Sun nor P&G were ready to divulge all of
their new product launches for 2015. But both are confident that
they will delight consumers and retailers with their new offerings.
“Retailers are sharp; they’ll make room for us,” predicted
Vlacich.“They’ll take room away from powders and reduce shelf
space for redundant brands. We try to self-prune our offerings,
but retailers know that they can always take shelf space away
from the bottom third of SKUs.”
It’s a brand-eat-brand-eat-private label world out there on
laundry detergent shelves; survival of the fittest doesn’t just refer
to species, it describes detergents, too.•
Every company has a product in the fast-growing
unit dose category. Sales for tabs, pods and the like
have risen nearly 26%.