Lever Brothers claims the launch of laundry detergent tablets last year, has helped increase its share of Europe’s 5.5bn detergents market, by five per cent.
The average value share for Lever’s products in Europe rose to 22 per cent for 1998 from 20.9 per cent in 1997.
The figures, released one year after Lever first launched Persil Tablets in the UK, show the estimated 200m ploughed into developing and launching laundry tablets across Europe is paying off.
The five per cent share growth equates to some 50m of extra sales. Lever Tablets hold more than 60 per cent of the European tablets market, according to the figures, compiled by market research company Information Resources.
Lever has introduced the tablet format to all its major European detergent brands including Persil, Surf and Radion in the UK and Ireland, Omo in France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland and Belgium, Skip in France, Spain, Portugal and Greece and Sunil in Germany and Via in Sweden.
In the UK, Persil’s market share has settled down at 26 per cent after reaching a high of 28 per cent last summer. This compares with a declining market share for rival Ariel, owned by Procter & Gamble, which has seen its share shrink to 19.5 per cent.
But this week P&G is launching Ariel Tablets across the UK after one month’s delay, which may help it regain the initiative from Lever. P&G has dropped the Ariel Discs product it has been testing for the past year in favour of reformulated Ariel Tablets.