P&G tries to convert Indian consumers to new detergent

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BOMBAY -- Procter & Gamble Co.'s Indian arm has launched its Ariel Supermatic detergent directed at Indian homes with washing machines. Although one out of every 10 Indian homes owns a washing machine, most housewives continue to pour traditional laundry detergents into washing machines. P&G and other western markets are attempting to change user habits though marketing campaigns aimed at middle- and upper-income earners.

P&G India's extension of its Ariel brand pits it against Bombay-based Unilever subsidiary Hindustan Lever, which already markets the Surfmatic and Surf Ultramatic detergents for washing machines. The market for washing machines is expected to double in the run-up to 2000. P&G, Lever and Germany's Henkel have launched their brands in anticipation of this expected spurt in sales of washing machines, and hence, detergents for machines.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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