Procter & Gamble (P&G; Cincinnati, OH) will begin shipping its top-selling laundry detergent Tide in an Eco-Box this month. The Tide Eco-Box re-imagines the classic liquid detergent with new packaging containing an ultra-concentrated formula designed for e-commerce. “For the first time, we have designed a package ‘eComm-Back,’ beginning with the unique challenges and opportunities the e-commerce environment presents,” said Sundar Raman, Vice President of P&G’s North America Fabric Care business. “This is a fundamentally different approach than we’ve taken in the past and represents our relentless obsession with delighting consumers wherever they want to purchase our brands.”
The new bag-in-box design allows the Tide Eco-Box to arrive on a shopper’s doorstep in a sealed, shipping-safe cardboard box. Inside the box is a sealed bag of ultra-compacted Tide liquid laundry detergent, explained the company in its announcement. To use, a perforated cardboard flap is peeled off to reveal a dosing cup and new “no-drip” twist tap. To make dosing simpler on flat surfaces, the box includes a pull-out stand to raise the height of the box so the cup fits easily underneath the tap.
Online shopping brings shipping challenges, especially for products such as liquids that need to be packaged to arrive at their destination intact. Products sold online typically need to be packaged with a second or third layer of packaging, such as cardboard and bubble wrap, which is then discarded by the consumer. The Tide Eco-Box is a “nod” both to e-commerce and a lighter shipping footprint. P&G designed the Tide Eco-Box to ship as efficiently as possible on its journey from a manufacturing site to a retailer’s warehouse to a consumer’s front door.
“We know that the last mile remains the biggest challenge, both economically and ecologically, in e-commerce,” said Isaac Hellemn, Brand Manager for eCommerce Innovation in P&G’s Fabric Care group. “The Tide Eco-Box is designed to keep the convenience of online shipping for the consumer but reduce the overall impact of that convenience on our environment.”
The Tide Eco-Box contains less packaging overall, including 60% less plastic, and doesn’t require any secondary re-boxing or bubble wrap. The higher concentration of Tide liquid detergent means that it uses 30% less water than the current 150-ounce Tide press tap package, making the product lighter. Because of its boxed design, it takes up less space, which means “more loads of laundry can fit on fewer delivery trucks,” explained P&G.
The company said it will continue to innovate in the e-commerce space, as it adapts its product offerings to the channels where consumers shop. “We have some pretty exciting e-commerce projects we’re working on, and that shouldn’t be surprising,” said Hellemn. “E-commerce isn’t a trend anymore, it’s a reality, and we’re excited to keep innovating for it.”