Lever FabergÃ© is to ditch Persil Liquid refills, a move certain to anger environmentalists who see the Tetra Pak cartons as less ecologically harmful than the core bottle version.
Lever will repackage the range in a redesigned easy-pour plastic bottle, which the company says was prompted by consumer demand.
According to research, a Lever spokeswoman says, nearly 80 per cent of customers pour refills into a bottle after purchase.
Persil Liquid has been reformulated in different colours for its biological, non-bio, colour and Aloe Vera variants, which has allowed Lever to exploit the attractiveness of clear plastic bottles on shelves.
But an industry source says that dropping the cardboard packs could backfire if consumers see the move as damaging to the environment.
He says: “There’s bound to be a flood of letters, as the Tetra Paks are seen as environmentally safe.”
The move comes as Tetra Pak reviews agencies to advertise its environmental friendliness.
The price for bottles will be lowered to the level of the refill packs, although an insider says this could also lead to complaints.
He says: “It’s likely that many people won’t notice the price change. People see product first, not the price tag, and will think they’re paying more.”
Lever will launch a £1.1m print, poster and direct marketing campaign to educate consumers about the changes. The repackaging is part of a wider multi-million pound effort by Persil to streamline the range (MW, January 16).