Lever Brothers claims it has sold 9 million packs of Persil Tablets since the brand’s launch last May (MW April 23), and says tablets will match sales of concentrated laundry powders by next year.
The figures appear to support the faith – and money – that Lever has put behind the launch of tablets, which cut waste through offering measured doses of powder. The brand is believed to have had a launch budget of 25m, including an ad campaign through J Walter Thompson.
The Lever figures, backed by research company IRI Infoscan, show tablets taking a nine per cent share of the laundry detergent market, with a 13.1 per cent penetration of UK households.
Trading controller Peter Lightfoot of CBC, which buys products for some 3,000 grocery stores across the UK, says: “It is the most successful product launch in this area.” But Lever is understood to have invested heavily in cut-price promotions to support the launch, including “buy-one-get-one-free” offers, which could damage the brand’s profitability.
Rival Procter & Gamble says it is still assessing the results of store tests for its own tablet product, Ariel Discs. The company denies an October launch date has been fixed.
With the success of Tablets, Lever appears to have put behind it the Persil Power fiasco of 1994, which ended with the withdrawal of the product.