P&G follows Lever with Ariel tablet launch

Procter & Gamble is to follow rival Lever Brothers’ lead and test laundry detergent tablets for its Ariel brand.

Procter & Gamble is to follow rival Lever Brothers’ lead and test laundry detergent tablets for its Ariel brand.

Lever’s plans to launch laundry tablets under the Persil name were first revealed by Marketing Week (January 22). It is thought that Lever will launch the product at the end of May or beginning of June.

The tablets are put into the soap compartment of the washing machine and enable more accurate doses of detergent to be applied. They may end consumer confusion over the amount of detergent to use.

One observer says: “Tablets could do for laundry detergents what teabags did for the tea market.”

Lever’s plan has clearly rattled P&G, which is to start test sales of its own tablets in Grimsby in April.

P&G has emerged as the clear winner in the UK’s soap wars. Its brands account for nearly half of the market, while Lever has under a quarter, according to Taylor Nelson AGB. However, Lever executives believe they can turn the company’s fortunes around with the tablet launch.

The tablets are a U-turn. Both companies had been opposed to the idea because it could curb detergent overuse – a significant revenue stream.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here