Unilever prepares to launch ‘upmarket’ fabric softener

Unilever is extending its range of Comfort fabric conditioners by launching two luxury variants aimed at the top of the market.

Comfort Crème, which launches at the end of January, backed by a &£3m television and press campaign, will be aimed at women who want an “indulgent” product.

It will be available in jojoba and almond oil variants, and will be sold in a clear plastic bottle with updated graphics to improve its shelf standout.

One industry source says: “It’s being aimed at the premium end of the market – mainly women who want something more upmarket and are prepared to pay more for a bit of difference.”

The launch is the latest in the UK’s &£275m fabric softener market, dominated by Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

Comfort is the UK’s leading brand with a 45 per cent value share (Mintel), while Procter & Gamble’s Lenor accounts for 33 per cent.

However, P&G is ploughing &£5m into a new fabric conditioner under its Fairy brand (MW November 3, 2005), also due to reach supermarkets later this month.

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