Hindustan Unilever is all set to launch the most expensive and the country’s first daily use detergent so far ‘Surf Excel Liquid’ for the affluent customers. Priced at Rs.230 for a litre this product of HUL is termed as a premium innovation for the affluent consumers who are ready to pay a premium so that their laundry chore becomes easier. This is the first move of HUL in the premium category which till now was operating in the mass market with detergent brands like Wheel and Rin.
Speaking about the launch of Surf Excel Liquid, Priya Nair, Vice President and Category Head, HUL- Laundry Division said, “As a market leader of the category, we have seen success in premium innovations and upgradation over the years in laundry given the growth in affluence.” Premium Surf Excel Liquid is said to remove stains two times better than any detergent present in the market.
Experts in the industry believe that some customers may switch on to the new product looking into the promise that it is twice more effective than the present product as it is not that expensive and customers are willing to pay a premium for good quality products. This move of moving into premium segment is being carefully watched by the players in the industry and this category offers one of the lowest margins.
Though this product is innovative in nature it would require a lot of persuasion on the part of the company to change the consumption pattern of customers in the long run since they are used to using detergent powders. Unilever had successfully changed the consumption habits in US two decades ago by making the customers switch to liquid detergent and now this product accounts for nearly 70 per cent of the laundry market in U.S.
How much of it going to be possible in India is worth a watch since marketers always find the Indian market to be very complex but in this also there is a silver line that is the growing number of affluent class who are willing to experiment with new products which could make their life easier.