Eight years in the making, Tide Pods are finally about to hit store shelves nationwide this week, reports Emily Glazer at the Wall Street Journal.They’re small, dissolvable, pre-measured packets of detergent that are supposed to work much better than its single-use predecessors.
The rollout was slowed by various delays. The pods were supposed to be available last September, but the company said that greater-than-anticipated demand forced them to delay the launch. This allowed competitor Arm & Hammer to work on its own single-use product.
So what’s the big worry, if these are supposed to be so great?
Tide Pods will cost $9.99 for 35 each, at the suggested price, which P&G says will cost you 25-32 cents per load. That’s up from the 22 cents you’d spend with Tide Original, or 25% more per load.
And remember, it’s just laundry soap—a commoditized product that’s incredibly difficult to differentiate. P&G has worked hard recently to defend its market share in a struggling economy that has consumers switching away from its more expensive Tide brand.
So, P&G is taking the risk that people will buy their sales pitch for these pods. It’s all about whether or not people will pay more for a little bit of convenience.
Here’s what one grocer had to say about it to Glazer at the WSJ:
“Instead of measuring out the cup, filling the cup in there, you just toss it in,” says Kris Burdis, grocery business manager for United Supermarkets. The regional chain, in Lubbock, Texas, is rearranging its aisles this week to make room for the new pods category.
“I believe our guests will respond to this, but a lot of it will be up to the manufacturers on how well they advertise and communicate the benefits.”
We’ll just have to wait and see.
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