Unilever to launch luxury fragranced Comfort range

Unilever is plotting a range of strongly-fragranced luxury variants for its Comfort fabric conditioner in 2009. It intends to attack head on Procter & Gamble’s Lenor Infusions line, which launched earlier this year.

Comfort is aiming to consolidate its position as leader in a market where fragrance has become the key driver.

It is understood that Unilever will launch at least three Comfort variants, all with exotic-sounding, aspirational names.

The products are aimed at consumers who are interested in indulgence and strong fragrances.

The move follows the lead set by P&G’s Lenor Infusions, which mirrors the fragranced variants of P&G laundry detergent Bold, with names such as Black Diamond and Lotus Flower.

The new Comfort variants, planned for autumn next year, will also incorporate the “Fresh Release” technology that Comfort claimed to be a first, when it was introduced in 2007.

The technology is designed to release fragrance into clothing over time. This move was followed by Lenor in April this year when itwas revealed it planned to launch products using similar technology (MW April 22).

The new luxury Comfort range will be in contrast to the recently launched Comfort Naturals variants, which are gently fragranced and have been developed for sensitive skin.

Worth £271.5m in 2007, according to Mintel, the fabric conditioner market is buoyant with the two brands neck-and-neck in a fight for the lead.

Comfort is currently the market leader, with the brand’s sales rising by 4.1% in 2007 to £99.9m. But Lenor’s sales have been closing in, rising 9.2% to £93.6m for the same period.

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