Reckitt Benckiser to axe Air Wick

Reckitt Benckiser plans to axe its air freshener product Air Wick and merge it into the Haze brand, in what appears to be a second phase of a product portfolio rationalisation.

Last year, the household goods company announced its decision to axe its Dettox cleaning brand, a rival to Unilever’s Domestos and Cif. Dettox, which includes antibacterial cleaning wipes and floor and surface cleaners, will be merged with the antiseptic cleaning brand Dettol (MW November 22, 2001).

The Anglo-Dutch company, formed in 1999 following the merger of Reckitt & Colman and Benckiser businesses, is trying to focus on its global “power brands” as opposed to “regional brands”, according to household goods buyers.

The Air Wick range, which includes Crystal Air, Electrical oils and Click Spray, was rolled out across Europe last year. Household goods buyers are calling Reckitt Benckiser’s brand rationalisation the “biggest” in the household goods industry for a year.

According to the latest Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) figures on the air-freshener market, Sara Lee Household & Body Care’s Ambi Pur freshener is the leading brand by sales. Haze follows Ambi Pur, and SC Johnson’s Glade ranks third.

Reckitt Benckiser’s product portfolio also includes Vanish, Harpic, Mr Sheen and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products such as Disprin and Bonjela.

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