Unilever Launches Biggest Laundry Breakthrough

Persil Powergems

Nearly three months after Unilever CEO Paul Polman promised shareholders greater returns coupled with investments to drive growth, the launch of what it calls the biggest laundry breakthrough in a decade will be a key test of whether it can put its money where its mouth is.

The Anglo-Dutch company is this week launching Persil Powergems, a brand new kind of detergent that is neither powder nor liquid, after spending 18 million euros ($20 million) on research, development and marketing.

It remains to be seen whether the premium-priced, lentil-shaped crystals will make their way beyond Britain, the launch market. Not all innovations are hits, as Unilever learned when its now-abandoned Persil Power was found to damage clothes in the 1990s.

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