Unilever launches a ‘dark wash’ detergent

Unilever plans to extend its Persil laundry product into another category by launching Black Velvet, a liquid detergent specifically used to wash dark colours.

It is understood the product, which limits colour fading in fabric because it contains less bleach than other detergents, will hit supermarket shelves by the end of August.

Black Velvet has already been launched across Europe under the Coral brand. The liquid detergent, understood to be supported by a £2.5m ad and marketing spend, will target young, upmarket consumers.

According to industry sources, Black Velvet is expected to be priced at £2.99 for a 750ml bottle.

A Lever Fabergé spokesman says: “The product has performed very well in other European markets and we will be looking at introducing it in the UK. But no firm decision has been made about the launch.”

Rival household goods giant Procter & Gamble does not have a similar product on the market at present.

Earlier this year, Unilever launched a soluble washing product called Persil Capsules, supported by a £9m campaign through J Walter Thompson. The capsules’ launch was the company’s biggest roll-out since it introduced detergent tablets in 1998 (MW February 1).

The company’s home services venture, Myhome, last month announced plans to introduce its first branded shop later this year. The shop will open in south-west London, initially as a dry-cleaning store and then sell a range of Unilever cleaning products (MW June 28).

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