With Glade cleaner, SCJ eyes Hispanics

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SC Johnson is expanding its Glade air-freshener brand into household cleaners in an upstate New York test market that appears to be aimed primarily at Hispanic consumers.

Glade Cleaner-Limpiador, with its bilingual label, could become the latest in a series of high-impact, low-cost household-product launches aimed at the U.S. Hispanic market, whose buying power increased 11% last year to $600 billion, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

bright colors

Priced at $2.34 for 30.4 ounces at one Rochester, N.Y., store, Glade Cleaner comes in brightly colored red and purple bottles that resemble the shape and look of Fabuloso, a Mexican brand Colgate-Palmolive Co. brought north in 1997. Scents include country meadow and lavender.

The scents, particularly lavender, have been popular in other consumer products positioned for Hispanic consumers, said Tom Vierhile, general manager of new-product tracking firm Marketing Intelligence, Naples, N.Y.

Glade's move into household cleaners "makes perfect sense," said Ruth Gaviria, a former Colgate executive who launched Fabuloso as well as Suavitel fabric softener in the U.S. and is now director of Hispanic ventures at Meredith Corp. "The Hispanic market is very fragrance-oriented and connects with high-fragrance products."

An SCJ spokeswoman couldn't reach executives familiar with the launch by press time, but the company's interest in the Hispanic launch clearly has been piqued by Fabuloso's success.

For the 52 weeks ended April 18, Fabuloso's volume increased 14.7% even as the all-purpose-cleaner category declined 8.7%, according to Information Resources Inc. (Those figures don't include Wal-Mart Stores, club or dollar outlets.)

Suavitel, launched in the U.S. at the same time as Fabuloso, reached a 10.1% share of the U.S. liquid-fabric-softener category in the 52 weeks ended April 18, with volume up 27.2%, according to IRI. That was despite a category that grew only 2.8% and competition from Procter & Gamble Co.'s Gain, whose own entry into fabric softeners, aimed largely at the Hispanic market, captured a 3.6% share its first year.

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