Glist flop stalls Henkel UK drive

Henkel detergent brand driven out by dominance of Finish and own-brand dishwasher tablet launch

The future of Henkel’s dishwasher detergent brand Glist is in question following the decision by its primary retailer Waitrose to delist it after just one year on the market, following poor sales.

Waitrose’s decision will come as a shock to Henkel, which was hoping to extend the brand with a reformulated tablet as well as a toilet-cleaning product.

Despite its unique enzyme formula, Glist has struggled to find a niche in the growing UK dishwasher sector since its launch, despite a launch backed by a £2m TV campaign. The ads, starring actress Julie Walters were created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO.

The brand, called Somat in other countries, is a market leader in the rest of Europe.

An industry insider says that Glist has been pushed out of UK supermarkets by Reckitt Benckiser’s dominant Finish brand, as well as by own-label competition. Waitrose launched its own “3-in-1” dishwashing tablet last month, heralding the end for Glist in its stores.

The source says: “There is limited space on the shelves, which makes it difficult when you have a major product line like Finish as well as own-brand products.”

A Henkel spokesman claims that Glist will “imminently” launch in Sainsbury’s, but refuses to comment about its removal from Waitrose shelves. Independent supermarket chain Wilkinsons is now the only UK retail outlet for Glist.

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