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P&G CEO: New Tide box is about 'superiority' (not teens)

Melody Hahm
Senior Writer

Tide’s soon-to-be-released detergent container is called the Eco-Box, and it has an uncanny resemblance to a box of wine.

The internet had finally seemed to have moved on from the absurd, intentional consumption of Tide Pods — so the launch of this new eco-friendly box seems laughably timely.

There were 12,299 poison control calls for people eating laundry pods last year, according to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Tide Pods, which were first introduced in 2012, had initially sparked worries that small children would eat them. But teens started challenging each other to bite into the balls of liquid, aptly named the “Tide Pod challenge.”

Parent company Procter & Gamble (PG) has since changed the packaging to make them look less like candy. The company even added a bitter taste to the product and spent marketing dollars to warn parents and children alike to use them for laundry purposes only.

The Eco-Box, which has a twist-to-open pour, a pull-out stand and a measuring cup, hasn’t even hit shelves yet, but is already raising concerns that it will trigger a Tide Challenge 2.0. The receptacle will be available in January 2019.

In an interview with Brian Sozzi on Yahoo Finance’s Market Movers, P&G CEO David Taylor didn’t outright acknowledge the concerns that the box looks like the boxed wine, Franzia. Instead, he focused on the environmental benefits this box will provide.

The plan is for both the box and the plastic lining that holds the detergent to be recyclable.

“This isn’t yet on the market, but the overall strategy is we want to have superiority in every part of our business — superiority in product, superiority in packaging. If it’s going to be sold in store, it may look one way. If it’s going to be shipped online, we want to find ways to do that more efficiently,” he said.

“This packaging is aimed at addressing a much better consumer experience for those that want to buy online and to be a much better contributor to eliminating and reducing waste. So broadly, P&G as a company is committed to making meaningful improvement in a broad sustainability impact, and we think we can do that in many, many ways — this is one,” he added.

Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technologyand real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.

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