Paper 2: Researched Evaluation of a Specific Current Product
Paper 2: Researched Evaluation of a Specific Current Product
Tide Detergent Laundry pod is a product of Procter and Gamble (P&G) used for cleaning purposes. It combines three technologies; detergent, stain remover, and color protector for effective cleaning results. The product dissolves in all temperatures and contains 90% active ingredients. Moreover, most American households have loved tide pods since they entered the market precisely due to the original scent and impressive packaging. A child psychologist postulates that “The Tide Pod, as it’s designed, is an ideal product for attracting toddlers” (Meth, Fortune). However, most people complain that the candy-like packaging of pods is dangerous for their children, who consume the poisonous pods unknowingly, causing devastating consequences.
Tide pods are one of the most successful innovations in the history of consumer goods leviathan Procter and Gamble. While the product’s distinctive features of compactness, accessibility, and colorful package make it so successful in the market, they are also potentially fatal flaws. “In late 2017, a handful of teenagers started posting videos online of themselves eating laundry packets in a surreal viral phenomenon known as the Tide Pod Challenge”(Meth, Fortune). P&G responded by making some changes, but the product remained more or the same as it was before. P&G should prioritize the safety of tide pods on households; as a successful selling product in the market, altering its negativities to protect children’s health can help protect its corporate image.
Fig. 1 The Tide Detergent Laundry pod
Practically, the product is effective in cleaning, easy to use, and works well in the newer style of washing machines. P&G has incorporated the use of “Superior innovation that grows markets and market share” (Thomson Financial, Fair Disclosure Wire). The tide pods have a unique scent that helps consumers identify with and lasts for long in the clothes after washing. Furthermore, it is versatile as consumers use it as a detergent, stain remover, and a brightening agent, “many providing cleaning, health, and hygiene benefits” (Thomson Financial, Fair Disclosure Wire). Unlike other detergents, once consumers purchase the tide pods, they do not need to add the bleaching products to their shopping list, making it cost-effective.
The product is durable as it is designed as a tablet that is efficient in its application and results in quality, and protects the fabric. Unlike conventional detergents and bleaches, tide pod detergent softens the clothes leaving them with a pleasant fragrance. The product contains enzymes responsible for removing dirt and stains in fabric, and one doesn’t need to heat water for effective results. P&G has generated huge revenues as reported by reported, “Tide PODS and Gain Flings have driven over 90% of U.S. laundry detergent category growth since they were launched at roughly a 50% price premium”(Thomson Financial, Fair Disclosure Wire). The high revenue rates have positively reflected in the general economic growth.
Similarly, the tide pod detergent is free of slow-dissolving components, which can get stuck in different parts of the machine leading to the formation of layers reducing the level of performance. “Then-CEO Bob McDonald proudly described Tide Pods as an example of “innovation that obsoletes existing products'” (Meth, Fortune) due to its practical benefits and ability to boost sales.
Nevertheless, tide pod detergent fails due to its lack of safety in the household setup. The priorities of P&G during the pandemic are not consumer-based as they argue, ”First, ensuring the health and safety of our P&G colleagues around the world; second, maximizing the availability of products we produce”(Thomson, Fair Disclosure Wire). The safety of consumers should be a priority rather than mass production, which leads to health-related issues.
Ethically, P&G has failed in its role of social responsibility. Tide pods have had hazardous health issues due to their poisonous composition, with “80% of all major injuries related to laundry detergent, according to the American Association for Poison Control Centers” (Meth, Fortune). P.G responded to the tide pods case by changing the packaging composition. However, Day argues that “These findings were reinforced in a subsequent study which found no reduction in the number or severity of pediatric exposures after the packaging changes were made mandatory” (Day et al., Clinical Toxicology, Academic Journal). It is the consumers’ responsibility to watch over their children against the poisonous product.
The manufacturing of products demands a certain level of consideration to ensure the consumers are not exposed to any harm in their consumption. Meth responds to the dilemma posed by tide pods’ poisonous composition by asking, “Has P&G truly reached the limit as to how safe it can make its popular product? With no legal requirements to make pods safer, do ethics require the industry to go further?” Meth, Fortune). While tide pods are socially beneficial, they are ethically unacceptable as they put human life in danger, and P&G should take full responsibility for the damaging effects.
Aesthetically, tide pods are very attractive and cause consumers to have impulse buying. “It has been suggested that the vivid color and appearance of the capsules has contributed to unintentional poisoning incidents within the home” (Day et al., Clinical Toxicology, Academic Journal). Also, the scents are the major attracting component to consumers as “Fabric enhancer scent beads are a great example of a superior product and package” (Thomson Financial, Fair Disclosure Wire). The tide pods have well-communicated scent benefits with a squeeze scent release.
The tide pods are small, soft, and jelly-like to touch and are designed to dissolve easily. This composition makes the product dangerous as it’s enticing to children. “It is reported that “(60%) of children are exposed when the capsule is removed from its original container” (Day et al., Clinical Toxicology, Academic Journal). Hence the corporation’s move to make the packaging to be safer was recommendable. “The implementation of packaging changes resulted in a fall in the number of exposures and their severity in the United States and the number in Italy” (Day et al., Clinical Toxicology, Academic Journal). Exposures cause skin burns and eye irritations.
P&G’s innovation is quite impressive and motivates other corporations to improve the quality of their products. As discussed earlier, tide pods are loved by many consumers due to their immense benefits in cleaning, removing stains, and brightening clothes. The only shortcoming the product has is its design which resembles candies and is attractive to children. What the children don’t know is its immense danger once they pop in the throat. Like all other businesses, P&G is motivated by the profits generated by the tide pod detergent sales in the unique packaging. Still, it should not forget its social responsibility to society. Since consumers already love the tide pod detergents, the company can alter the shape of the capsules to prevent future confusion of edibility.
Day, Rachel, Bradberry Sally M., Thomas Simon H. L. & Vale, J.Allister, (2019). Liquid laundry detergent capsules (PODS): a review of their composition and mechanisms of toxicity, and of the circumstances, routes, features, and management of exposure. Academic Journal, Clinical Toxicology (15563650). Nov2019, Vol. 57 Issue 11, p1053-1063. 11p.
The authors, Day et al., conducted a study to review and examine the composition of the liquid laundry detergent capsules and determine factors associated with its toxicity. They utilized the Pub Med and EMBASE databases to search for terms capsule, detergent, pod, pac or sac. They were able to gather 122 relevant sources which fitted the aim of the study. The study discovered that the most common mechanism of toxicity is through the non- ionic surfactants which had a composition of 10-20%. The circumstances of exposure are when the capsule is out of the container and the routes of exposure are ingestion which is the most common and ocular. The study is beneficial in educating the public on the dangers of tide pods and how to protect themselves.
Meth, Jake,(2019). “The Real Tide Pod Challenge”. Periodical Fortune, Vol. 179 Issue 3, p104-114. 10p. 3 Color Photographs, 4 Diagrams.
The author Meth Jake, examine the Real Tide Pod Challenge which brought light to the dangers of misplacing the tide pods at a households with children. The author share a story of a little girl named Bella who escaped death narrowly after ingesting a tide pod, thinking it was a candy. The article explores the different phases tide pod underwent to make it safer for consumers but fails to get any conclusive solution in end. The author criticizes the P&G corporation for leaving the full responsibility of ensuring the safety of children to the care givers by only offering educative messages on the dangers of tide pod consumption.
Thomson Financial, (2021). “Procter & Gamble Co at Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Virtual Conference – Final”. Fair Disclosure Wire (Quarterly Earnings Reports). 02/18/2021.
The author Thomson Financial, reports on the substance of the conference calls where P&G is portrayed as a corporation to be emulated by others. The articles outline three priorities that P&G undertook during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of the worker, maximize on product production and help consumers with their cleaning services needs and supporting those affected by the pandemic. Several product lines are discussed in the conference including the tide pods and how they are fairing in the market. Similarly, the report discusses the advertising strategies employed by the corporation to push sales in all their stores. The report gives in-depth information into P&G businesses highlighting their growth and the reasons behind it.
Liquid laundry detergent capsules (PODS): a review of their composition and mechanisms of toxicity, and of the circumstances, routes, features, and management of exposure.
Bradberry, Sally M.
Thomas, Simon H. L.
Vale, J. Allister
CHONDROITIN sulfate proteoglycan
Clinical Toxicology (15563650). Nov2019, Vol. 57 Issue 11, p1053-1063. 11p.
Introduction: Liquid laundry detergent capsules (also called single-use detergent sacs; laundry pods; laundry packets) have become an increasingly popular household product worldwide. Objectives: To review the composition and mechanisms of toxicity of liquid laundry detergent, capsules, and the circumstances, routes, clinical features (and impact of packaging changes) and management of exposure. Methods: The databases PubMed and EMBASE were searched using the terms: “detergent” and “capsule”, “pod”, “pac” or “sac” combined with “poison”, “ingest”, “expos” but not “animal” or “in vitro” or “bacteria”. The searches yielded 289 articles, of which 186 were excluded: 38 duplicates, 133 not relevant, 10 abstracts which had been published as a paper and 5 non-English language articles. The bibliographies of relevant articles were hand-searched which yielded 14 additional citations. Searching of abstracts from scientific meetings produced five additional citations. A total of 122 publications were relevant to the objectives of the review. Capsules and composition: Capsules typically contain anionic surfactants (20–35%), non-ionic surfactants (10–20%), propylene glycol (8–20%) and ethanol (2–5%) within a water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol membrane. Mechanisms of toxicity: Non-ionic surfactants are the primary mechanism, though anionic surfactants, ethanol and propylene glycol may also contribute.
The majority (60%) of children are exposed when the capsule is removed from its original container. Routes of exposure: Ingestion is the most common (>85%); ocular (<15%) and dermal (<8%) exposure account for the remainder. Features following ingestion: Features develop in around half of all exposures, though >90% are minor. In those with features, vomiting occurs in some 50%; coughing and drowsiness are reported in <5%. Respiratory depression (<0.5%), central nervous system depression (<0.1%) esophageal or gastric injury (<0.5%), metabolic acidosis and hyperlactatemia (<0.05%) have been reported rarely. Of 17 deaths reported, 13 were adults and nine were suffering from cognitive impairment. Features following ocular exposure: Conjunctivitis, eye irritation and/or eye pain are commonly experienced; corneal injury is less common but complete recovery typically occurs within one week. Features following dermal exposure: Clinically important dermal toxicity seldom occurs, though skin burns can develop in <5% of cases when skin contact is prolonged. Impact of packaging changes on features: The implementation of packaging changes resulted in a fall in the number of exposures and their severity in the United States and in the number in Italy. Management-ingestion: Gut decontamination is not recommended, though small amounts of fluid can be administered orally to rinse out the mouth. Symptomatic and supportive care should be offered to all patients that develop features of toxicity. Supplemental oxygen should be administered for hypoxemia, and bronchodilators for laryngospasm/bronchospasm. Intubation and assisted ventilation may be required if CNS and respiratory depression develop. A chest radiograph should be performed if respiratory features develop. In patients with swallowing difficulties, drooling or oropharyngeal burns, endoscopy should be performed; if substantial mucosal damage is present MRI should be considered. In addition, intravenous fluids will be required if prolonged vomiting or diarrhea occur and acid-base disturbances should be corrected. Management-eye exposure: Thorough irrigation of the eye with sodium chloride 0.9% is required. Instillation of a local anesthetic will reduce discomfort and help more thorough decontamination.
Capsules are often brightly-colored and feel soft and pliable to the touch. It has been suggested that the vivid color and appearance of the capsules has contributed to unintentional poisoning incidents within the home []. However, a recent study was able to demonstrate no differences in “attractiveness” to children aged 12–36 months between mono- and multi-colored capsules []. Furthermore, an analysis by Yin et al. [] did not show any difference between exposures involving clear laundry capsules and those having a single (blue) color.
Mechanisms of toxicity
The mechanisms of toxicity are not completely understood but it is probable that the primary cause is the high concentration of non-ionic surfactants present in some capsules, though anionic surfactants, ethanol and propylene glycol may also contribute.
Some non-ionic surfactants, such as ethoxylated alcohols, have been shown to induce ataxia, loss of righting, respiratory depression, coma and death when administered to rats [], although exposure was via the intraperitoneal route so the relevance to human ingestion may be limited. When non-ionic surfactants were administered orally to rats and mice, either alone or in combination with anionic surfactants and ethanol, sedation was observed but only following administration of large volumes of highly concentrated solutions [].
In contrast, in the “mature” UK market, there was no evidence of a beneficial impact on the number of reported exposures or on their severity [] following implementation of the voluntary packaging changes in Europe. These findings were reinforced in a subsequent study which found no reduction in the number or severity of pediatric exposures after the packaging changes were made mandatory [].
Procter & Gamble Co at Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Virtual Conference – Final
Fair Disclosure Wire (Quarterly Earnings Reports). 02/18/2021.
Procter & Gamble Co at Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Virtual Conference – Final
OPERATOR: P&G would like to remind you that today’s discussion will include a number of forward-looking statements. If you will refer to P&G’s most recent 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K reports You will see a discussion of factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from these projections.
Additionally, the company has posted on its Investor Relations website, www.pginvestor.com, a full reconciliation of non-GAAP and other financial measures.
JON R. MOELLER, VICE CHAIRMAN, COO & CFO, THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY: Good morning. I’d like to start today with momentum built before and during COVID driven by a strong and focused portfolio of brands and integrated set of growth-oriented strategies and operational excellence.
free cash flow productivity from 90% going into the year to about 95% after Q1, currently at a range of 95% to 100%.
We expect to pay approximately $8 billion in dividends, and further increased our outlook for share repurchase from a range of $7 billion to $9 billion to up to $10 billion. Combined, the plan to return around $18 billion of cash to shareowners this fiscal year over 125% of all-in earnings.
We’ve established 3 priorities that have been guiding our actions and our choices in this crisis period.
First, ensuring the health and safety of our P&G colleagues around the world; second, maximizing the availability of products we produce to help people and their families with their cleaning, health and hygiene needs. These products are more important than ever given the needs created by the current crisis, increased awareness of health and hygiene and the additional time that we’re all spending at home.
Third, supporting the communities, relief agencies and people who are on the front lines of this global pandemic. These priorities are completely congruent with our strategic choices, which we remain confident in and are the foundation for balanced top and bottom line growth and long-term value creation. A portfolio of daily use products, many providing cleaning, health and hygiene benefits in categories where performance plays a significant role in brand choice.
Superior products delivered with superior packaging, brand communication, retail execution and value in all price tiers where we compete. Superior offerings delivered with superior execution drive market growth. Leading category growth mathematically builds market share and builds business for our retail partners. We’ve made investments to strengthen the long-term health and competitiveness of our brands, and we’ll continue to invest to extend our margin of advantage and quality of execution, improving options for consumers around the world.
An example, U.S. Fabric Care. Over the last 40 years, P&G U.S. Fabric Care has grown by 5x, 500% in a market that has grown 4x. Market growth has been the main driver of P&G’s growth, 80%, which we’ve driven with leading innovation.
When we grow the market, we will grow share as we have in Fabric Care, up 5 points. with strong growth in profit and margin, meaningfully superior unit dose detergents, Tide PODS and Gain Flings have driven over 90% of U.S. laundry detergent category growth since they were launched at roughly a 50% price premium.
Last spring, Tide Power PODS and Gain Ultra Flings were introduced to the light consumers doing larger loads, driving correct dosing, combating set in stains, eliminating strong odors, providing a hygienic clean with a long-lasting scent.
Let’s take a look at the copy, which recently aired during the Super Bowl.
JON R. MOELLER: This innovation is contribution to high single-digit laundry category growth over the past 12 months, with P&G’s share of the unit dose segment nearly 80%, up over 1 point. 29% of U.S. households now use a unit-dose detergent, up 13 points over the past 4 years with much more opportunity ahead.
Fabric enhancer scent beads are a great example of a superior product and package. Packaging that shows the product and communicates the scent benefit with a squeeze scent release, distinctive and appealing.
Fabric enhancers are the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. Fabric Care category, up double digits, and scent beads are the fastest-growing form, growing over 20% over the past 12 months. Superior innovation that grows markets and market share. Scent beads segment share up 8 points. Overall Fabric enhancer share up 9 points over the past 4 years. Tremendous upside here, too.
THE REAL TIDE POD CHALLENGE.
Procter & Gamble Co.
Fortune. 3/1/2019, Vol. 179 Issue 3, p104-114. 10p. 3 Color Photographs, 4 Diagrams.
The majority of injuries resolve within 24 hours without long-lasting effects. Still, pods make up 80% of all major injuries related to laundry detergent, according to the American Association for Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), despite accounting for only 16% of the market. In rare cases like Bella’s, long-term complications can ensue. And nine people have died in the U.S.—two children younger than age 2 and seven seniors with dementia—in cases definitively linked to laundry pods.
To the extent that most consumers are aware of these dangers, it’s thanks to an asinine Internet trend. In late 2017 a handful of teenagers started posting videos online of themselves eating laundry packets in a surreal viral phenomenon known as the Tide Pod Challenge. That cultural episode cast laundry-pod poisoning as a self-inflicted wound, harming only the irresponsible. But the Challenge has accounted for only a tiny fraction of the injuries caused by this now pervasive product.
P&G and other detergent makers, startled by soaring numbers and prodded by regulators, have taken the product back to the drawing board more than once. But despite multiple changes to the pods’ design and exterior packaging, intensive industrywide meetings on the issue, and seven years of brainstorming and testing, the situation has not substantially improved when measured by the total number of calls to poison-control centers and emergency-department visits.
Pods have prompted an average of 11,568 poison-control calls a year involving young children since 2013, their first full year on the U.S. market. (The majority of calls, or exposures, involving pods are not associated with serious injuries, but they’re the best population-wide data available to measure pods’ impact on public health.)
And when injuries are inflicted, they remain disproportionately severe: In 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, 35% of pod exposure cases among the whole population wound up being treated in health care facilities; for all other laundry detergents and for household cleaning substances, that figure was 16% when pods were excluded.
Consumer advocates and public health experts argue that, for all its well-intentioned efforts, the industry has refused to confront the brightly colored elephant in the room: the swirly, multi-hue design schemes that make the mini-packets look so much like candy. If manufacturers can bring themselves to make all pods look neutral and less inviting, says Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “we can design this problem out of existence.”
P&G and other detergent makers point to different injury measures, arguing that they’ve brought down the market-adjusted rate of exposures even without such changes, by improving the childproofing of packaging and educating the public on proper safety habits. “Our job is to prevent children from having access to the product completely,” says Damon Jones, P&G’s vice president for global communications and advocacy.
While they haven’t ruled out future changes, industry and regulators have announced no plans for a more aggressive safety intervention. But in an era in which many consumer-facing businesses have tremendous leeway to regulate themselves, the Tide Pod dilemma raises urgent and disturbing questions. Has P&G truly reached the limit as to how safe it can make its popular product? With no legal requirements to make pods safer, do ethics require the industry to go further? Can an “improved” product that still causes thousands of hospital visits a year be considered safe? And at what point does the manufacturer’s responsibility for accidents end and the consumer’s begin?
chambers atop a white backdrop—stood out far more than the single-colored packets on the market at that point. And the pods came packaged in a clear tub, designed to show off the attractive design inside.
“We knew we had a breakthrough product on our hands,” says Tom Fischer, a former P&G executive for fabric and home care sales, the division responsible for Tide Pods.
The pods’ launch, in February 2012, proved them right. Shoppers seemed to love the convenience and the colorful form factor, and sales soared. In P&G’s 2012 annual report, released just a few months after they hit the market, then-CEO Bob McDonald proudly described Tide Pods as an example of “innovation that obsoletes existing products.” Between 2013 (liquid laundry packets’ first full year on the U.S. market) and 2018, pod sales grew 136%, according to Euromonitor International, a market research provider. During that period, the overall laundry detergent category grew just 7%. Today, pods make up close to a quarter of P&G’s overall laundry detergent sales.
A TV commercial that accompanied the Tide Pod launch in 2012 conveys the euphoria. In the ad, a woman draws a pod out of an open case and tosses it into the drum of a washing machine. In the background are sounds of bubbles popping and the upbeat Men Without Hats song “Pop Goes the World.” The spot ends with the tagline: “Pop in. Stand out.” But nowadays, popping is not an image P&G wants anyone to associate with Tide Pods.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT INJURIES spiked immediately after pods came out. In 2011 there were 8,186 calls to poison-control centers regarding laundry detergent exposures among the entire population, according to the AAPCC; in 2013, that figure rose to 19,753. Emergency-department visits related to laundry detergent increased even more sharply. And each year since then, at least 85% of exposures and 79% of E.R. visits have involved children under age 6.
“The Tide Pod, as it’s designed, is an ideal product for attracting toddlers,” says Mariana Brussoni, a child psychologist at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital Research Institute. With laundry pods in general, “in terms of the colors they tend to have, the size, the feel, the fact that it can easily fit in their hands and their mouths—this is something that would be very appealing.”