Unilever is looking to shake up the deodorant category with a new ‘compressed’ aerosol can that contains the same amount of product as a standard can - but is half the size.

The new cans, which contain half the gas - 75ml rather than 150ml - and 28% less packaging than usual, begin rolling out across its Sure Women, Dove and Vaseline Intensive brands on Monday (4 February).

Unilever claimed the innovation, which is being backed with a £12.8m marketing push, marked a “step change” for the deodorant category - where aerosols account for 80% of sales [SymphonyIRI].

The new cans, which have the same rsp as current cans, had a 25% smaller carbon footprint than standard cans, claimed Unilever. They could free up as much as 15% of shelf space on the deodorant fixture, it added, and could lead to a 53% increase in the number of products on a pallet and a 35% reduction in road usage.

“We are the biggest manufacturer in this market and it is our responsibility to improve the environmental impact of this popular format,” said James Griffin, marketing manager for Sure Women and Dove deodorants.

The new deodorants, which Unilever claimed were softer, drier and less cold than other aerosols because they contained less propellant, would initially be confined to women’s products, said Griffin. However, Unilever would monitor feedback and if positive would consider rolling them out to other sectors.

The new format could be a “game changer”, said packaging expert Stephen Shortland, MD of New Vision Packaging.

“Given the saving that would be made on packaging and transport, and the finer spray, there doesn’t seem to be a downside,” he added. “I could see this format becoming the norm.”