Company: IBA

Product: Soluble floor cleaner capsule

Country of origin: France

It has taken a long time, but the concept of a soluble capsule filled with cleaning liquid has finally made an appearance outside the fabric care market.

The idea was first marketed in late 2000 by Unilever, using the Robijn fabric care brand in the Netherlands. The capsules were soon launched in the UK under the Persil brand, while Procter & Gamble launched its version, Ariel Liqui-Tabs. They were positioned as offering the cleaning benefits of a liquid detergent in a more convenient single-dose format.

Now, some three years later, companies are beginning to use the concept in the floor cleaners segment of the household products market. In France, IBA recently launched a floor cleaner presented in a box of 12 soluble, single-dose sachets, claimed to be the first of its kind. Each sachet contains 5ml of concentrated liquid, and should be dissolved in a five-litre bucket of water - no need for cutting, opening, pouring or measuring. The cleaner contains an antibacterial agent and does not require rinsing after application. And with no risk of over-dosing the cleaner, the format is also said to be more economical.

Spanish retailer Mercadona has also introduced a similar product under its Bosque Verde brand, a concentrated liquid floor cleaner in a soluble stick pack.

Surely there is potential in other areas for this convenient product format.