Household products are often overlooked by design teams due to their mundane nature. However, this month's roundup of new product launches shows that some market players are making conscious efforts to ensure that their products look or even smell nice. This includes a high-end laundry detergent, air freshener and duster, showing that everything has the potential to be upgraded.
Parfum Francis Kurkdjian has launched a new premium range of laundry detergent in the US and Canada. The Maison Francis Kurkdjian line costs a substantial $45 for a single bottle of liquid laundry detergent. The high price is said to be due to the inclusion of high quality fragrances, including citrus, musk, lily of the valley and orange blossom. The maker claims that the product is composed with the same care and refinement as an eau de toilette: it even produces a similarly fragranced perfume. Fragrance is certainly a major selling point for many laundry detergents, but this high price point takes it to a whole new level.
Another premium-priced household product has recently been launched in Japan by Fujitsu General. The Fujitsu Room Dasshuki DAS-301V is an air deodorizer and purifier for home use that reportedly rids the home of cigarette and pet odors up to three times faster than conventional devices. The device is said to neutralize bacteria and airborne viruses through the use of UV rays and plasma ions, which are impressively scientific sounding. However, costing around JPY40,000, it is on the expensive side, which could put consumers off.
Meanwhile, Teramoto has recently introduced a stylish looking duster to Japan. The Tidy Cup Handy Mop consists of a fine fiber feather-like duster that comes complete with a cup-shaped storage container. The duster is said to effectively remove dust and can be neatly stored away: the product and its container resemble a cup and straw when not in use. This shows that well-designed features can make even mundane objects look attractive.
Over in the US, Church & Dwight has introduced the Kaboom-branded bathroom cleaner, which is said to change color on application. Although it is blue when sprayed, it changes to white when clean. A color-changing feature has been used in personal care products such as sun cream for some time, but it appears to be new in the bathroom cleaner sector.
Staying with bathroom products, Waitrose has recently launched a new luxury toilet tissue which contains cashmere in the UK. The Cashmere Quilted Bathroom Tissue is said to be extra soft due to the cashmere extracts. While cashmere has been used in branded toilet rolls before, it is unusual to see its use in a private label range, showing that private labels are continuing to become more quality focused.
Finally, ABC Tissue Products has introduced the Earthcare Facial Tissues to the New Zealand market. These have an eco-friendly focus: they are made from recycled paper and are not bleached but are "de-inked" instead. The product is also said to be presented in a "unique eco-friendly dispenser" which is free from plastic, showing that the manufacturer paid close attention to maintaining a high green focus with this product.