Source: Unilever

Unilever has unveiled Comfort Botanicals, a 15-strong laundry range backed by a £9m-plus spend.

It comprises Botanicals Fabric Conditioner and Scent Booster Elixir – each in Heavenly Fresh, First Blooms and Summer Bouquet variants across a variety of pack sizes. They boasted a “breakthrough formulation to deliver multi-sensorial freshness, leaving no residue on clothes, even in cold and short cycles”, said the supplier.

The result of five years’ development, Botanicals Fabric Conditioner is Comfort’s first transparent fabric conditioner. It utilises patented CrystalFresh technology, containing 40% fewer ingredients than the brand’s most popular conditioner.

Formulated to be 95% biodegradable, it could “improve the breathability of fabrics, and had been designed to be effective with towels and sportswear, as well as effective in short and cold cycles”, Unilever added. Botanicals Fabric Conditioner was a response “to consumer concerns around the perceivable benefit of fabric conditioner and its environmental impact”.

It comes in 38-wash (rsp: £3) and 64-wash (rsp: £5) packs alongside a value 86-wash format (rsp: £4.95).

Scent Booster Elixir’s “93% biodegradable formula” (rsps: £3/342ml & £6/460ml) aimed to satisfy “demand and need for naturally inspired fragrances from laundry products”, Unilever said. It was designed to be “poured into the fabric conditioner drawer, on top of the fabric conditioner, for an easy-to-use solution”.

Available now, Botanicals Fabric Conditioner and Scent Booster Elixir are packed in recyclable bottles made with 35% plastic. The caps are also recyclable, while the sleeves can be removed and disposed of at soft plastic collection points.

The launch will be supported by an investment in excess of £9m, kicking off this month with a nationwide ATL campaign and TV advert. Running until August, it would feature in addition to in-store shopper assets, e-commerce advertising and sampling. Shopper activity will include branded gondola ends, bays, stands and aisle takeovers, as well as front-of-store and experiential activations including scented flower shop-style counters in Asda and scented flower bowls in Tesco.

“With more than three-quarters of washing machine owners now using a quick wash at least once per week, Comfort Botanicals has been designed to tap into the consumer need for products that deliver longer-lasting fragrance and effective performance in these cycles,” said Nadine Slyper, Unilever laundry marketing director.

“As a result, the collection encourages the use of short cycle laundry regimes when used alongside other relevant products – like the newly launched Persil Wonder Wash, which offers outstanding results even in a 15-minute cycle.”

Both new ranges aimed to “recruit new and lapsed shoppers to the fabric conditioner and scent booster segment, as well as appealing to those searching for laundry products with fewer ingredients”, Slyper added. “The matching fragrances also aim to grow basket spend for retailers by building laundry regimes with products that work together.”

Persil Wonder Wash made its debut last month with Speed Clean Non-Bio, Odour Defy and Ultra-Care in 31-wash and 55-wash formats. It will be backed by a major push starring Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt.