Dawn, the world’s most popular dish soap brand introduced its first re-formulated packaging in decades. The new look and feel is a result of years of research that uncovered how consumers were actually experiencing their product – including when they washed dishes with Dawn, which led to some key insights about why people love it so much.
Dawn dishwashing liquid is a soap that was designed to be used in dishwashers. It has been around for decades, but it recently got a makeover. The new packaging is more environmentally friendly and helps the product stay fresh longer.
Procter & Gamble Co. dish soap brand Dawn has designed an upside-down bottle that dispenses liquid from the bottom with a one-handed squeeze, and doesn’t require users to flip, bang or shake the bottle to squirt out its final remnants.
Dawn’s EZ-Squeeze packaging, which is reminiscent of the inverted plastic ketchup bottles popular in the early 2000s, also better complements how people prepare food nowadays, according to the business.
“Fifty or sixty years ago it was a lot more common to see them filling up a sink, putting dish soap in and washing their dishes,” Jennifer Lo, North America brand director for P&G’s hand dish products, said of consumers. Now, 67% apply dish soap directly to their items, a method that requires them to pick up and dispense soap more frequently, she said, citing company research.
P&G began selling the new bottle in some retailers this month, and plans a wider rollout in February with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $2.84 for a 14.7 ounce bottle of Dawn’s original liquid, or a 12.2 ounce bottle of Platinum Refreshing Rain, its upgraded dish soap formula.
According to Ms. Lo, the business anticipates stores to offer the bottle at a comparable price as other Dawn products, including the conventional flip-cap bottle, which will continue to be available. The bigger 19.4 ounce container with a flip lid is available online for $2.99 and $2.64 from Target Corp. and Walmart Inc., respectively.
The rollout is reflective of P&G’s strategy of pushing its brands to build a competitive advantage with, as the company puts it, “superior” elements. These include packaging that “attracts consumers, conveys brand equity, helps consumers select the best product for their needs, and delights them during use,” according to a 2020 company report. Dawn EZ-Squeeze arrives two years after the brand introduced its Powerwash Dish Spray, which allows users to spray suds directly onto dirty dishes.
The firm refused to comment on the Powerwash Dish Spray’s sales, citing a quiet time before of its second-quarter results announcement on Jan. 19.
P&G, which last year announced price increases to help offset swelling costs, reported a 5% increase in organic sales of its fabric and home-care brands for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2021, compared with the same period the prior year. Organic sales across the board rose by 4% in the same three months. Sales in home care, the category that dish soap falls under, grew by low single digits during the quarter, the company reported.
Meanwhile, according to statistics from market research firm Euromonitor International Ltd., Dawn has been the most popular dishwashing brand in the United States for the previous five years, growing its market share to 28.8% in 2021 from 27.7% in 2017.
Dawn’s new bottle design follows other efforts, both within and without the P&G stable, to boost sales with packaging and products that are easier to use and open.
P&G skin-care brand Olay last November began selling face cream that comes with an easy-open lid featuring two protruding “wings” in an effort to better serve customers with disabilities such as dexterity issues and joint pain. PepsiCo Inc. in 2020 redesigned some of its two-liter bottles so they would be easier for more people to grip, while Nike Inc. last February designed a shoelace-less sneaker that can be slipped on and off.
Last April, Unilever PLC’s Degree stated that it has collaborated with handicapped persons to develop a one-handed roll-on deodorant. The device, dubbed Degree Inclusive, is expected to hit the market in late 2022, according to the business.
Dawn’s EZ-Squeeze bottle’s one-handed design may help persons with limited dexterity or movement, while it wasn’t created as an adapted product, according to Ms. Lo.
P&G spent five years researching and developing the new packaging, a process that involved hundreds of hours of consumer research, including watching consumers wash up in their homes, Ms. Lo said. The company declined to comment on the cost of the design.
The introduction of new packaging designs can increase company sales, said David Feber, a partner leading the packaging division at consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
“A lot of product contact with customers is experienced via package design, and people buy things that they believe will assist them better some aspect of their lifestyle or experience,” he said.
Mr. Feber noted that the pandemic slowed the introduction of new products and packaging as stress on supply chains and personnel prompted a lot of firms to postpone debuts, particularly in the health and hygiene sector.
“We believe we’ll see a lot more innovative packaging products coming to market in the near future to catch up to where they’ve been,” he added.
Katie Deighton can be reached at [email protected].
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there a shortage of Dawn dish soap?
How long does a bottle of Dawn dish soap last?
A: A bottle of Dawn dish soap can last two to three months.
What is the slogan for Dawn dish soap?
A: Our Dawn slogan is “The Heart’s Desire.”
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