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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Will P&G get a “bounce” from outside?

August 13, 2009

Check out Procter & Gamble’s latest collaboration, which isn’t getting all rave reviews.  P&G has been working with others for nearly a decade under a program it calls Connect + Develop.  Now it is looking for its next success.

Quite a few products have come together with help from the outside.  A few years ago, for example, a P&G employee heard a scientist from Sederma speak at an academic conference.  P&G used the French company’s peptide technology in its Olay Regenerist skin care line.

bounceIts newest product, now hitting U.S. and Canadian stores, is based on technology from Ecolab.  The Bounce Dryer Bar sticks on the inside of a dryer.  The innovation comes at a price — a bar that should last the average consumer about four months has a suggested retail price of about $7.79, while 105 sheets of Bounce with Febreze (which would last about 3-1/2 months based on doing one load a day) sells for about $5.49 to $6.49.

P&G said that consumers it spoke with saw the idea as valuable, since it makes their lives a little simpler.  Recent reviews were mixed.  More than one user was excited by the idea but said the product broke quickly, while others wrote they “loved it.”  Several reviews on the company’s website are less than stellar.  One writer said it was “horrible” and another posted a comment labeled “Hate It.”

Still, another collaborative product launched in January is doing well despite the downturn, even though P&G’s overall sales fell in the latest fiscal year.  Crest Whitestrips Advanced Seal sell for about $45 a box.  The strips — which include adhesion technology from an outside company — have been ”tremendously successful, we couldn’t be happier,” said Paul Sagel, the P&G research fellow who created the company’s whitestrips.

“I would not have imagined it would have been this successful, especially in recessionary times when you’re dealing with products that are reasonably expensive, this one’s just exceeding everyone’s expectations,” he told Reuters.

Also in the basket:

Walmart earnings better than expected

Dr Pepper Snapple profit tops view, outlook raised

Kohl’s profit beats estimates by a penny

Two Hershey directors resign over new committee

Urban Outfitters profit beats estimates

Li & Fung profit growth slows, committed to targets

(Screenshot of P&G web site

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