Unilever sells flagging Stergene

Unilever has offloaded its fabric conditioner brand Stergene following a decline in its market share.

The 20-year-old brand has been sold to home and personal care company Lornamead.

The brand’s market share in the clothes detergent sector declined by 71.4 per cent between1999 and 2001 (Mintel). Last year, its share of value was less than 0.5 per cent of the total market.

At the end of 1999, the detergents giant discontinued Radion and merged it with its Surf brand as part of its “path to growth strategy”, which involves rationalising its portfolio and concentrating on key brands. According to Mintel, Surf increased its market share by 9.6 per cent in the period between 1999 and 2001. Surf is now available in powder, liquid and capsule formats.

Earlier this year, the company also discontinued its Lux pure soap flakes product.

Unilever leads the fabric conditioner market with a 44 per cent value share. Its Comfort brand dominates the market ahead of rival Procter & Gamble’s Lenor.

The company recently axed its Persil Revive home dry-cleaning product, less than two years after its launch (MW last week). The move followed a similar decision by P&G to halt the roll-out of its Dryel home dry-cleaning brand in the UK and continental Europe.

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