Bentley Organic has developed a patented "natural antibacterial formula", using fruit acids and bio-flavenoids, which meets the BS1276 test to kill bacteria such as e.coli and listeria. The five-strong range has been available in independents and Lakeland since launch in 2007, but rolls out to Ocado next month after an overhaul.
Certified by the Soil Association, the organic range comprises kitchen & surface, window & glass, shower & bathroom cleaners, washing-up liquid and a salad, fruit & veg wash for meal preparation. The products will feature new and bolder packaging than the existing range and a cheaper price point down to £2.99 from £4.99, although the salad wash carries an £3.50 rsp.
Bentley Organic had spotted a gap in the market for a natural cleaner that was able to compete with chemical-based products on performance and price, said sales and marketing coordinator Chris Holmes. Bentley had already been approached by "bigger cleaning brands" looking to license the patented formula, he added.
The company derives its technical expertise from £20m parent company Stephenson Group, which makes soap-base and works on product formulation for own-label and big-brand personal care products. "Most cleaners are either chemical-based and do kill germs or claim to be natural and simply do not work," said Holmes. "Our range is completely unique in that it is certified organic and kills bacteria. People are being misled into thinking other natural cleaners are natural, but they're not. You're effectively just moving germs around."
Ecover, however, disputed the importance of anti-bacterial agents. "Ecover doesn't produce any domestic cleaning products that are antibacterial," said international marketing manager Clare Allman. "If you clean something properly, there is no need to kill bacteria. By cleaning thoroughly, you will remove the biofilm layer of dirt, skin cells, fats etc that is the 'food' bacteria live on."