Struggling household brand Ecover is locking horns with Unilever and P&G with its debut concentrated laundry cleaner.

The bio and non-bio concentrates (rsp: £5.69) have been on trial at Waitrose and Ocado for three months but will be made permanent lines this week, with listings in other retailers planned for February. At 750ml, the concentrate used 54% less packaging than the regular 1.5l variant, the company said, and washed more effectively at lower temperatures.

It has been a tough year for the brand. Sales of its regular laundry liquid have slumped 10.9% to £11m, its machine dishwash is down 7.6% to £3.5m and rinse conditioner 8.4% to £3.2m [IRI 52w/e 8 August 2009].

However, the newcomers would win share from Unilever's Persil and P&G's Ariel concentrates, said marketing manager Clare Allman. "Launching concentrated products is a natural next step for Ecover."