Why Tide Pods Look Like Candy
P&G also found that consumers were tired of lugging bulky seven-pound Tide detergent bottles, measuring and pouring liquid detergent into a cup, then cleaning up the inevitable spills. Doing the laundry had become a formidable chore.
The company needed to develop something so different that it would convince consumers to ditch liquid detergent. He set out to try and develop a palm-sized liquid-filled detergent pod that would grab the attention of shoppers on the shelf and make laundry a little more exciting.
Tide Pods weren’t P&G’s first attempt at developing a laundry tablet.
In 1960, P&G launched Salvo, a compressed powder tablet. It had been on the market for about five years. In 2000, P&G introduced Tide Tabs: tablets filled with powdered detergent. But the company took them off the market two years later – the powder tablets did not always dissolve completely and worked only in hot water.
P&G’s next attempt – to create a tablet with a liquid that would eventually become Tide Pods – was an extremely difficult engineering task. It involved more than 75 employees and 450 sketches of different packaging and products. Thousands of consumers were surveyed.
“Products that imitate food”
Tide Pods wowed customers with its lightweight design, blue, orange, and white striped swirl, and soft, squishy feel.
Today, it features a patented three-compartment design that separates detergent (the green compartment), stain remover (white), and bleach (blue). P&G did not say why it changed the colors.
Even the packaging of the Tide Pods was distinct.
Other examples of this tactic include bottles in the shape of soft drinks and labels representing colorful fruits.
By developing products that create connections to food, play or other positive experiences, customers are less likely to automatically associate these items with an unpleasant or boring chore, Basso said.
But the appearance of the Tide Pods contained an unforeseen threat.
The company is conducting an ongoing safety campaign on Tide Pods to educate consumers on the proper use and storage of the product, a P&G spokesperson said. It includes advertising and content partnerships with online parenting channels.
A P&G spokesman said the standard has led to a sharp drop in the accident rate in recent years, even as more people use laundry packets.
But P&G said accidents happen whether the product has no color, one color or multiple colors and there isn’t enough evidence to show any color is linked to safety improvements.
Storing Tide Pods out of the reach of children, the company said, is the most important safety prevention measure.