P&G intros cleaners

Procter & Gamble is hoping to clean up in the bathroom scrubbing category with the launch of two new Spic and Span products.Toronto-based p&g began rolling out Spic and Span Bathroom and Spic and Span Bathroom Spray this month, with the...

Procter & Gamble is hoping to clean up in the bathroom scrubbing category with the launch of two new Spic and Span products.

Toronto-based p&g began rolling out Spic and Span Bathroom and Spic and Span Bathroom Spray this month, with the anticipation of gaining national distribution by early next year.

The two new products are an extension of the Spic and Span all-purpose cleaning brand.

The move follows a similar launch in the u.s. six months ago.

Spic and Span Bathroom is a thick liquid cleaner with a citric scent.

Jacqui d’Eon, p&g’s group manager for external affairs, says the product is specially formulated to scour through soap scum and hard water stains.

D’Eon says the new spray is a lighter, foamy cleaner with a trigger pump that makes it easier to use

‘p&g research shows people dislike cleaning the bathroom more than any other part of the household,’ she says. ‘And consumers are telling us they want more specific cleaning products for the bathroom.’

Spic and Span’s foray into the bathroom represents the company’s second entry into the category.

p&g launched Mr. Clean Bathroom in July 1992.

While Mr. Clean Bathroom is similar in concept to Spic and Span Bathroom – each is a viscous product that adheres to dirt on tub and tile surfaces – they are targetted to different consumers, according to d’Eon.

For example, she says their scents differ, and Spic and Span is aimed at consumers who like quick and easy cleaning, while Mr. Clean is targetted to those who are more concerned with shiny fixtures.

D’Eon says a tv ad campaign in support of the new Spic & Span line extensions is being developed by Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and is scheduled to kick off early next year.

Sleepy

Until recently, the bathroom cleaning category has been a sleepy one.

Most cleaning products marketing wars have been waged in the all-purpose segment, in which Spic and Span and Mr. Clean had been exclusively positioned before.

But with supermarket shelves getting more and more crowded – and competition intensifying for a declining multi-purpose market pie – more companies are looking to the bathroom as a way of expanding market share.

For example, S.C. Johnson, maker of Vanish Mildew Plus, introduced a new brand called Bathroom Duck last year.

L&F Canada has recently extended its powerful Lysol brand into the bathroom with the launch of Lysol Basin Tub and Tile Cleaner.

And Benckiser Canada has just launched Lime-a-way Extra, a niche product designed specifically for hard water buildup.

This surge of new entries in the category is a trend that will likely continue, according to many industry analysts.

‘There is a new focus in the bathroom because of trends like cocooning, and with more people working at home,’ says Rosemary Krane, l&f’s senior product manager on Lysol.

‘If people spend more time at home, they’re likely to spend more time cleaning,’ Krane says. ‘And research shows they want more niche products to do that.’

Welcomes competition

Brad Goodwin, S.C. Johnson & Son’s household products marketing manager, agrees.

Goodwin says his company welcomes the competition:

‘With p&g getting into the bathroom, it’s likely to focus more attention on bathroom cleaning products as a niche unto itself,’ he says.

However, there are likely to be some casualties in the burgeoning marketing war.

While medium- and large-size players stand to reap new profits, smaller companies could fall by the wayside, Goodwin says.

The market for bathroom cleaning product represents about $13 million in annual sales, according to A. C. Nielsen statistics.

It has been bolstered by nearly 50% since the launch of Mr. Clean Bathroom, which leads the category with a 19% share.

Benckiser’s Scrub Free and Lime-a-way brands hold a combined share of 15.6% of the market; Lysol’s Basin Tub and Tile Cleaner and Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner jointly have a 14% share; Reckitt & Colman’s Sanifoam weighs in with a 13.9% share; S. C. Johnson’s Bathroom Duck has 2.5% of the market; and Dow Brands Canada’s Bathroom Fantastic and Dow Bathroom Cleaner hold a 3.7% share of the market.

Although Mr. Clean Bathroom was clearly a successful entry into the bathroom segment, some industry observers, such as Dow Brand’s home care brand manager, Beth Kennedy, question whether the segment has room for a second major brand.

‘They [p&g] have done a great job of expanding a slow-moving category,’ Kennedy says. ‘But, I don’t know if there are enough consumers out there to sustain another big entry.’