Lever Fabergé is plotting the biggest launch in the laundry market since the introduction of Persil Capsules in 2001, with the roll-out of a new innovative single-dose fabric conditioner capsule under its Comfort brand.
Comfort Pearls will be backed by a multi-million-pound launch in the new year created by roster agency Ogilvy & Mather. Media buying and planning is through Initiative.
Experts say Pearls could revolutionise the market and have described single-dose fabric conditioners as the “holy grail” of the market, with the format thought to be impossible because of the way fabric conditioners are used in washing machines.
So far, there has been no sign of a spoiler product from arch-rival Procter & Gamble, which rushed Ariel liquid laundry capsules on to the shelves to beat the launch of Unilever’s Persil capsules (MW February 1, 2001).
Both were beaten to market at the time by the Co-op, which has a tradition of pre-empting branded competitors with its own-label products.
The fabric conditioners market has seen a number of innovations in recent years. Last summer, Lever Fabergé launched Comfort Fast Dry, while Procter & Gamble has countered with Lenor Sensitive and Lenor Easy Iron (MW April 24, 2003).
A box of ten Comfort Pearls will retail at &£2.69, a significant premium on existing fabric conditioner products. Industry sources say the products are “aspirational”, and could attract new consumers to the market owing to the convenience of the format.