P&G set to hike detergent prices

Packaged-goods behemoth’s move designed to squeeze value from its 50 per cent market share

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is planning to increase the prices of all its detergent brands by more than four per cent this year, as it tries to squeeze extra value from its market share.

The expected 4.7 per cent price rise in the prices of Ariel, Daz and Fairy will, it is understood, come into effect on September 30.

P&G’s biggest rival Unilever, which owns Surf and Persil, says that it has no plans to follow suit.

An industry observer says: “P&G has not increased the prices of its detergents for a very long time. The company is hoping to add value to the market with this price hike.”

Another observer predicts that P&G’s price hike will provoke other players in the market to follow suit.

According to Mintel, P&G dominated the overall detergent market in 2001. The company took a 50 per cent share of sales by value.

A P&G spokeswoman says: “We have no comment to make about our pricing policies.”

Ariel recently signed a three-year deal to sponsor the Lawn Tennis Association’s Players of the Future programme, which aims to find and nurture tennis stars of the future. The deal includes Ariel advertising, featuring Tim Henman in the nude. Saatchi & Saatchi handles advertising for the Ariel brand.

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