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|Product type||Self-activating laundry detergent|
|Owner||Henkel AG owner; Unilever plc. by License.|
|Country||Germany (Henkel) & United Kingdom (Unilever)|
LeChat or Skip (France)
|Markets||Germany,Turkey, the Netherlands, Poland, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria: New Zealand; United Kingdom, Ireland; France; Spain, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Cyprus, Serbia, Greece, Albania Iran, and Italy.|
|Previous owners||Henkel & Cie|
Persil is a brand of laundry detergent made by Henkel; but which is now also licensed for manufacture, distribution, and marketing in several countries by Unilever. Henkel and Unilever both manufacture their own formulations. Introduced in 1907, Persil is notable because it was the first commercially available "self-activated" laundry detergent. The name, Persil, is derived from two of its original ingredients, sodium perborate and sodium silicate. It is Unilever's premium brand in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Persil is sold in many forms, with several "environment friendly" products.
The chore of doing the laundry began to change with the introduction of washing powders in the 1880s. These new products originally were simply pulverized soap. New cleaning product marketing successes, such as the 1890s introduction of Gold Dust Washing Powder (created by industrial chemist James Boyce for the N. K. Fairbank Company in the United States), proved that there was a ready market for better cleaning agents. Henkel & Cie, founded in Düsseldorf in 1876, decided to pursue this market, and on June 6, 1907 launched its newly developed, first of its kind product, Persil. The manufacturer had found a method to add sodium perborate —a bleaching agent —to its base washing agents (silicate), creating (what the marketing department called) a "self-activating powder" detergent. During the washing process, oxygenated perborate forms small bubbles, doing the "work of the washboard" —saving consumers time and rendering the historic method of "sun-bleaching" (by laying clothes out in the sun) unnecessary.
Invented in 1907, Persil is notable because it was the first commercially available "self-activated" laundry detergent. (A self activated detergent is one which contains bleach combined with the soap components.) The creation of Persil was a significant chemical breakthrough.
The name, "Persil", is derived from two of its original ingredients, sodium perborate and silicate. However, the original name was deemed unsuitable as an international brand, as it is hard to pronounce in some languages; coincidentally, it is the French word for the herb, parsley.
Today, Persil is sold in powder, liquid detergent, liquid capsule, liqui-gel, and tablet forms. There are biological, non-biological (with and without enzymes, respectively) and colour care (biological and bleach-free) formulations as well. The Persil line also includes specialist care products for wool and silk items. In the UK, Unilever uses the Persil brand to market a wide range of washing up liquids.
Markets, licensing and distribution
Henkel AG manufactures, distributes, and markets Persil in Germany, Poland and most other European countries. In addition, they sell to several Middle East countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Henkel markets Persil under the name "Dixan" in Greece, Italy and Cyprus; and under the name "Wipp" in Spain and China. There are some national markets (Belgium,) where both Henkel's Persil and Dixan can be found at major retailers. In such cases, the Persil moniker is given priority by Henkel in its marketing. Henkel sells its Persil formulation in France under the name "Le Chat", as Unilever owns the license to the Persil trademark in that country.
Unilever Corporation markets Persil in Ireland and the United Kingdom, Europe, LATAM, China and Australia since acquiring rights to the brand (one of its first such acquisitions) in 1931. (The "Small and Mighty" product line – a highly concentrated liquid detergent formulation —is found only in these markets.) Unilever also sells Persil in France. In this market, the brand focuses on "natural" ingredients and "skin-friendly" formulations. It is competitively sold alongside Unilever's biggest selling detergent brand in France, "Skip". In the United States and Canada, Persil is a premium, limited-distribution product —being only available through appliance centers.
In April 2007, Henkel announced a global relaunching of the Persil brand and packaging to mark its 100th anniversary. Persil's other sub-brands (Le Chat, Dixan, and Wipp) were to be redesigned shortly afterward. The anniversary also marked 100 years of self-acting detergents —of which Persil was a pioneer.
Upscale German appliance manufacturer, Miele, acts as a direct importer of Henkel's Persil products into Canada and the United States, where they can only be purchased at licensed appliance dealers. It is marketed as a premium German import that is the "officially recommended" detergent for its washing machines. Due to this exclusive importation status and specialty positioning at appliance dealerships, it retails for up to $40/box CAD. Specialty importers also exist in the U.S.
In 2013 Persil launched its new Small and Mighty variant which showcased a new design of bottle that enabled consumers to use the lid as a measurer and stain removal pre-treatment device. This campaign was launched with the tagline "For Whatever life throws".
- persil.com (UK)
- Persil and skywriting (1927) [Pionnair-GE]. [Pionnair-GE] (1927-09-17). Retrieved on 2010-12-21.
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