An air freshener propelled only by "fresh air" heads this month's rundown of the latest novel launches from the household goods industry. In other news, detergent and skincare brands have partnered in an unusual alliance, while the line between napkins and household paper towels has been blurred through an interesting new launch.
In the UK, Reckitt Benckiser has launched its new Air Wick Aerosol Air Freshener range, which is "powered 100% naturally." The product uses "fresh air" rather than conventional chemical butane to propel the fragrance, with the main aim being to provide a "cleaner" fragrance without the "artificial" and "overpowering" scent normally associated with aerosol air fresheners. The range comes in Lavender & Camomile, Freesia & Jasmine, Cool Linen & White Lilac, Exotic Bamboo & Lotus Flower, and Precious Silk & Oriental Orchids fragrances. The use of natural propellants is not common in the category - although it has been recently seen in an aerosol insecticide - and it will be interesting to see whether it catches on with other manufacturers.
Also in the fragrance category, Yankee Candle has debuted a concept in the US and Canada which allows consumers to personalize the company's products in a unique way. Yankee Candles with Custom Photo Labels allow consumers to send in a photograph, which is then used to decorate the label of a chosen candle. A variety of formats and fragrances are available. The customizable nature of the product allows consumers to engage with the products in a more personal way, potentially increasing brand loyalty.
Moving to household paper, a recent launch in Bulgaria features an innovative way of dispensing table napkins. New from World Cart, Cotto E Mangiato Napkins are offered in a roll format, which is said to take up less space than conventional napkin packs. While rolls may have some space-saving benefits, it is perhaps debatable whether napkins are ideally suited to such a design, given paper's propensity to curl up if it has been stored on a roll.
Back in the UK, Procter & Gamble has reformulated its Fairy Clean & Care Washing Up Liquid to now include a "touch of softness" from its Olay brand. The relaunch is available in Almond, Aloe Vera & Cucumber, Silk & Orchid, and Peach & Mandarin varieties. The claim that the detergent will keep hands soft has been a longstanding feature of Fairy's marketing vocabulary, and reinforcing this notion through a tie-in with the company's leading skincare brand could prove to be a clever strategy.
Meanwhile, in Japan Procter & Gamble has also been innovating with the Ariel Revo Ion Gel Coated Compact Laundry Detergent, which is claimed to prevent dirt and stains from adhering to clothes. According to the company, it achieves this by coating laundry in an ion polymer, which also reduces the amount of detergent needed to wash garments. Ion-based formulas have previously been seen in the laundry detergent category - primarily in Asian markets - but this would appear to be the first to make such a specific claim.
Finally, in Germany Rakso Steel Wool Glass Cleaner and Steel Wool Fireplace and Glass Cleaner has been made available for consumers. The first product is claimed to remove varnish and paint, while the second is claimed to remove dirt and soot quickly and effectively, in both cases without scratching or damaging glass surfaces. It seems somewhat unlikely that a product would be sturdy enough to remove varnish and paint and yet not damage glass, and it will be interesting to see whether consumers have sufficient faith in the claims to be willing to put the product to the test on delicate surfaces.