Persil’s yearly sales take a tumble

Lever Brothers’ laundry detergent brand sales have been hammered in groceries with Persil’s sales plummeting by a fifth in a year.

According to Nielsen figures, sales of Persil between September 1994 and August 1995 total 185.5m, a drop of 19.4 per cent on the previous year. Three years ago, Persil was the UK’s number one grocery brand by value. But since the Persil Power fiasco it has slipped to fifth position, one place behind its Procter & Gamble rival, Ariel.

Persil’s bleak results mirror the performance of sister brand Radion, whose sales have dropped from between 35m and 40m in 1993, to below 29.2m for the period September 1994 to August 1995.

Ariel’s sales have also fallen by 7.4 per cent on last year, to 216.7m. But other P&G brands, Daz and Bold, have built on their spend this year, by 5.7 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.

A spokeswoman for Lever says: “We obviously took a big knock with Persil Power. We knew we were going to take a hit. But we have been monitoring consumer attitudes to the brand and are expecting brand share to carry on improving.”

Lever is to increase marketing activity on Radion next year.

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