The Procter & Gamble Co. said Wednesday it has begun trying out a lower-cost version of Tide laundry detergent in a bid to regain lost sales.
“Tide Basic” is hitting shelves in some 100 Walmart and Kroger stores in southern and southwest US. states. P&G spokesman Kash Shaikh said the new Tide product sells for some 20 percent less than the regular Tide powder, which generally retails for around $8 for the smallest container.
The six-decade-old Tide brand has more than $3 billion in annual sales, but it and other P&G products have lost sales to other less expensive National Brands and rapidly growing Private Brands
The Cincinnati-based consumer products maker has reported good sales during the recession for lower-cost “Basic” versions of Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels.
Although I certainly understand the need to retain sales and attempt to salvage profits in a bad economy, this seems like a desperate move that can only devalue the iconic Tide. It has certainly become a key value item for many consumers, however of late it has joined Coke and Breyers ice cream as price plays. In this economy if you pay full price for any of the three you simply aren’t paying attention.