Procter & Gamble (P&G) is gearing up to launch flagship laundry brand Ariel in a next generation gel format. The new product will be backed by a major marketing push, as P&G stages a fightback against Unilever’s successful launch of Persil Small & Mighty concentrated sub-brand last year.
It is understood the new product will have a consistency similar to a shower gel. It is due to hit shelves in September and marks Ariel’s entry into the compact detergent market, as the battle for the environmentally-cons-cious consumer gathers pace.
It is thought the Ariel gel will be dispensed into the washing machine drawer from a container with a nozzle reminiscent of a squeezable ketchup container, which will move it away from individually packaged measures.
P&G has been at the forefront of “green” initiatives in the laundry sector with its Future Friendly labelling scheme but has yet to launch any specifically eco-friendly products under the Ariel brand.
Despite spending over £12m on Ariel’s “Turn to 30°” campaign, which green campaigners say could potentially have a massive positive impact on the environment, the investment did not see the brand return to growth.
Since 2005, Ariel’s market share has fallen from 21% to 18%, according to Mintel. The combined effects of Persil Small & Mighty and significant growth in P&G’s supposedly secondary brand, Bold 2-in-1, has caused erosion to its brand share.
Bold’s market share leapt from 15% to 18% in the same period. The brand now accounts for a similar share of the market to Ariel.