|Founders||William Colgate (Colgate)|
B.J. Johnson (Palmolive)
|Headquarters||300 Park Avenue|
New York, NY, United States
|Noel Wallace (Chairman, President & CEO)|
|Revenue||US$15.693 billion (2019)|
|US$3.557 billion (2019)|
|US$2.527 billion (2019)|
|Total assets||US$15.034 billion (2019)|
|Total equity||US$558 million (2019)|
Number of employees
Colgate-Palmolive Company is an American multinational consumer products company headquartered on Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It specializes in the production, distribution and provision of household, health care, personal care and veterinary products.
In 1806, devout Baptist English immigrant soap and candle maker William Colgate established a starch, soap, and candle factory on Dutch Street in New York City under the name William Colgate & Company. In 1833, he suffered a severe heart attack, stopping his business's sales; after a convalescence he continued with his business. In the 1840s, the company began selling individual cakes of soap in uniform weights. In 1857, Colgate died and the company was reorganized as Colgate & Company under the management of his devout Baptist son Samuel Colgate, who did not want to continue the business but thought it would be the right thing to do. In 1872, he introduced Cashmere Bouquet, a perfumed soap. In 1873, the company introduced its first Colgate Toothpaste, an aromatic toothpaste sold in jars. In 1896, the company sold the first toothpaste in a tube, named Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream (invented by dentist Washington Sheffield). Also in 1896, Colgate hired Martin Ittner and under his direction founded one of the first applied research labs. By 1908, they initiated mass sales of toothpaste in tubes. William Colgate's other son, James Boorman Colgate, was a primary trustee of Colgate University (formerly Madison University).
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the B.J. Johnson Company was making a soap from palm oil and olive oil, the formula of which was developed by B.J. Johnson in 1898. The soap was popular enough to rename their company after it — Palmolive. Around the start of the 20th century Palmolive was the world's best-selling soap. Extensive advertising included the radio programs The Palmolive Hour (1927-1931) and Palmolive Beauty Box Theater (1934-1937). A Kansas City, Kansas-based soap manufacturer known as Peet Brothers, who were originally from Wisconsin, merged with Palmolive to become Palmolive-Peet. In 1928, Palmolive-Peet acquired the Colgate Company to create the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company. In 1953, Peet was dropped from the name, leaving only Colgate-Palmolive Company, the current name.
Colgate-Palmolive has long been in competition with Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world's largest soap and detergent maker. P&G introduced its Tide laundry detergent shortly after World War II, and thousands of consumers turned from Colgate's soaps to the new product. Colgate lost its number one place in the toothpaste market when P&G added fluoride to its toothpaste (Colgate has since re-claimed the #1 sales position). In the beginning of TV, Colgate-Palmolive wished to compete with P&G as a sponsor of soap operas and sponsored many soaps in full or in part including The Doctors.
In 2005, Colgate sold the under-performing brands Fab, Dynamo, Arctic Power, ABC, Cold Power and Fresh Start, as well as the license of the Ajax brand for laundry detergents in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, to Phoenix Brands, LLC as part of its plan to focus on their higher margin oral, personal, and pet care products.
In 2020, Colgate-Palmolive acquired Hello Products LLC, one of the fastest-growing, premium oral care brands in the United States, for an undisclosed amount.
On October 25, 2012, the company announced it would cut 2,310 workers, or 6% of its workforce, by the end of 2016 in a push to make the consumer products company more efficient. The company ranked 184th on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by revenue. In 2021, the company ranked 15th on the list of Most Trusted Brands by Morning Consult.
Educational and community involvement
The Colgate-Palmolive Company has sponsored a non-profit track meet open to women of all ages called the Colgate Women's Games. The Colgate Women's Games is the nation's largest amateur track series open to all girls from elementary school through college. Held at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, competitors participate in preliminary meets and semi-finals over five weekends throughout January. Finalists compete for trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company at New York City's Madison Square Garden in February. For more than 20 years, the company supports the Starlight Children Foundation which is a non profit organization dedicated to help seriously ill children and their families. The mission is to help children to cope with pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, family activities and education.(2012)
In 2011, Colgate-Palmolive was one of the first companies recognized by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) under the new "working for regulatory change" category for companies that test on animals only when mandated by government regulations and are actively seeking alternatives to animal testing. This relates to the corporation's decision to continue to participate in the profitable Chinese market, where some animal testing is still a regulatory requirement. Other companies have chosen to decline entry to this market.
In 2006, Colgate-Palmolive acquired an 84% stake in Tom's of Maine. In 2011, the company chose to retain the use of the antibacterial agent triclosan in its market-leading Total toothpaste range, despite withdrawing it from several other product ranges, following concerns about triclosan's impact on health and the environment.
In 2019, BreakFreeFromPlastic cited Colgate-Palmolive as one of the world's top ten plastic polluters. Previously, Colgate-Palmolive had committed to 100% recyclability of plastics in packaging across all its product categories by 2025, but made no commitment to reducing the use of virgin plastic in packaging.
Products of the Colgate-Palmolive company, specifically "Total" brand toothpaste contain triclosan.
Colgate-Palmolive, as a successor to The Mennen Company, is one of about 300 companies held potentially responsible for hazardous waste at the Chemsol federal Superfund site in Piscataway, New Jersey. Their involvement in this site may have contributed to the contamination of an estimated 18,500 cubic yards (14,100 m3) of soil with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PCBs, and lead off-site. A proposed $23 million agreement with the government and state of New Jersey would require Colgate-Palmolive and the other involved companies to pay for the cleanup of this hazardous waste that is contaminating the soil as well as the groundwater.
Colgate-Palmolive received the 2012 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award.
- Noel Wallace
- John P. Bilbrey
- Lisa M. Edwards
- C. Martin Harris
- Martina Hund-Mejean
- Kimberly A. Nelson
- Lorrie M. Norrington
- Michael B. Polk
- John T. Cahill
- Stephen Sadove
Colgate-Palmolive was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine. The 2012 Human Rights Campaign "report card" on American businesses gave Colgate an A for its support of diversity in the workplace.
Colgate now markets a broadly diversified mix of products in the United States and other countries. Major product areas include household and personal care products, food products, health care and industrial supplies, and sports and leisure time equipment.
- Afta Lotion
- Anthony longlife soap
- Caprice (shampoo) (Mexico)
- Cibaca (India)
- Cold Power
- Colodent (Poland)
- Crystal White Octagon
- Cuddly (Australia)
- Darlie (toothpaste) (Southeast Asia)
- Dentagard (toothpaste; Germany)
- Dynamo (detergent)
- Elmex (toothpaste)
- EltaMD (skincare)
- Fab (detergent)
- Filorga (cosmetics; France)
- Fluffy (Australia)
- Fresh Start
- Freska-Ra (Mexico)
- Gard (shampoo)
- Hacı Şakir (Turkey)
- Hello Products
- Hill's Pet Nutrition (pet food)
- Hurricane (detergent) (Australia)
- Irish Spring
- La Croix (bleach) France
- Meridol (toothpaste)
- Murphy Oil Soap
- PCA Skin
- Profiden (Toothpaste, Spain)
- Science Diet
- Skin Bracer
- Soft As Soap (soap) (Australia)
- Softlan (softener) (Southeast Asia)
- Soupline (France, Belgium)
- Speed Stick
- Spree (detergent) (Australia)
- Suavitel (Mexico)
- Tahiti (soap) (France, Belgium, Switzerland).
- Teen Spirit (deodorant)
- Tender Care
- Tom's of Maine
- Ultra Brite
Discontinued products and former brands
- Ajax Laundry Detergent (Ajax Cleanser still made by CP) 
- Ad (detergent) 
- Brisk (fluoride toothpaste) 
- Burst (detergent)
- Cue (fluoride toothpaste) 
- Cashmere Bouquet (soap) 
- Cherish (cinnamon flavored toothpaste)
- Cold Power (detergent)* (known in Canada as Arctic Power, Australian and New Zealand rights sold to Henkel in May 2015)
- Coleo (soap) 
- Colgate Entrees
- Colgate Tooth Powder**  and Colgate Chlorophyll Tooth Powder 
- Colgate Toothpaste with Chlorophyll** 
- Dynamo (liquid detergent-no longer made by CP in the U.S.) 
- Fab Detergent (no longer made by CP in the U.S.)
- Fab One Shot (detergent)
- Halo Shampoo 
- Kolynos (toothpaste)**
- Lustre-Creme Shampoo 
- Octagon (soap) 
- Palmolive Rapid Shave 
- Colgate's Peter Pan Beauty Bar with Chlorophyll 
- Soaky (bubble bath for kids) 
- Super Suds (detergent) 
- Swerl (liquid cleanser) 
- Vel (dishwashing detergent) 
* While detergent brands continue to be manufactured and sold by Colgate in some countries, in the United States they have been sold to another company, Phoenix Brands in 2005. Phoenix Brands would file for bankruptcy in May 2016 and the US rights have been assumed by Fab & Kind Company.
In May 2015, Colgate-Palmolive sold its Australian laundry detergents and pre-wash brands to Henkel for US$245 million (€220 million). Colgate-Palmolive has divested its laundry detergents business in Colombia, which was in turn acquired by Unilever and some Asian countries, which was acquired by Procter & Gamble.
** Still being made by Colgate-Palmolive internationally, but no longer available in the U.S.
In the U.S., the company operates approximately 60 properties, of which 14 are owned. Major U.S. manufacturing and warehousing facilities used by the oral, personal and home care segment of Colgate-Palmolive were located in Morristown, New Jersey (previously the headquarters of the Mennen company prior to their 1991 buyout, and still HQ of the Mennen division) until 2014, when the plant shut down and moved operations to Hodges, South Carolina ; Morristown, Tennessee; and Cambridge, Ohio. The pet nutrition segment has major facilities in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Emporia, Kansas; Topeka, Kansas; and Richmond, Indiana. The primary research center for oral, personal and home care products is located in Piscataway, New Jersey and the primary research center for pet nutrition products is located in Topeka, Kansas.
Overseas, the company operates approximately 280 properties of which 80 are owned in over 70 countries. Major overseas facilities used by the Oral, Personal and Home Care segment are located in Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Guatemala, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, Vietnam and elsewhere throughout the world.
Colgate-Palmolive has closed or is in the process of phasing out production at certain facilities under a restructuring program initiated in 2004 and has built new state-of-the-art plants to produce toothpaste in the U.S., Mexico and Poland.
Colgate-Palmolive's chief manufacturing plant is located in Burlington, New Jersey, producing all of the fragrance and flavor oils for the company's facilities around the world.
The iconic hand on the Palmolive dishwashing soap label belongs to hand model Elizabeth Barbour. The image is an illustration of a photograph taken in 1985 when the Colgate-Palmolive Company updated the image, hiring Barbour, then with the Ford Agency in New York City.
- "Colgate-Palmolive Company 2017 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. January 21, 2020.
- "Colgate Palmolive Company profile". Craft. September 4, 2019. Archived from the original on September 4, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- "Legal/Privacy Archived February 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine." Colgate-Palmolive. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Jones, Geoffrey (2008). "Blonde and blue-eyed? Globalizing beauty, c.1945–c.1980" (PDF). Economic History Review. 61 (1): 125–154. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2007.00388.x. S2CID 154339826. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 10, 2015.
- edited by Maxine N. Lurie, Marc Mappen (2004). "Encyclopedia of New Jersey". Rutgers University. ISBN 9780813533254. Retrieved January 3, 2011.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Colgate-Palmolive Company History: Creating Bright Smiles for 200 Years". Archived from the original on May 2, 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- Williams, Sean (September 12, 2014). "Colgate or Crest: Can You Guess Which Is America's Favorite Toothpaste?". fool.com. Archived from the original on December 12, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- "Colgate-Palmolive, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jul 12, 2005". secdatabase.com. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "Colgate-Palmolive Sells Detergents to Phoenix Brands". PROMO Magazine. July 13, 2005. Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- "Colgate-Palmolive, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Apr 28, 2006" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Bargh, Becky (January 28, 2020). "Colgate-Palmolive acquires subscription oral care brand Hello products". Cosmetics Business. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
- "Colgate-Palmolive, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Oct 25, 2012". secdatabase.com. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "Fortune 500 Companies 2018: Who Made the List". Fortune. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
- Shelley, Jonathan (April 20, 2021). "Report names Google 'most trusted brand'". WPTA21. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
- The Encyclopedia Americana. The Encyclopedia Americana Corporation. 1918.
- "Colgate Women's Games". Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- "Colgate-Palmolive Company Tops PETA's New List Recognizing Companies Working to End Government-Mandated Tests". peta.org. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- "Choosing Cruelty Free". HRA. July 13, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- "Body Shop withdraws products from China over animal testing". ABC. March 11, 2014. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- "Colgate expands reach of quirky toothpaste". USA Today. Gannett Co. Inc. Associated Press. March 22, 2006. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
- "Colgate Keeps Triclosan in Its $1B Total Brand". Archived from the original on January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- Segran, Elizabeth (November 1, 2019). "Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo are the world's biggest plastic polluters—again". Fast Company. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- "Colgate-Palmolive Commits to Recyclability of Plastics in All Packaging". Colgate-Palmolive Company. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- "Settlement Clears Way for Continued Funding of New Jersey Superfund Cleanup". US Department of Justice. January 6, 2009. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
- "Colgate Palmolive Company - Knowmore.org". Knowmore. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- "NIOSH and NHCA present 2012 Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Awards™". Center for Disease Control. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
- "Board of Directors | Colgate-Palmolive". www.colgatepalmolive.com. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
- "Best Companies - Colgate-Palmolive". Archived from the original on August 24, 2016. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
- Jones, David (March 23, 2011). "Colgate buys Sanex from Unilever for $940 million". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2011.
- "A Brief History of Teen Spirit Deodorant". InStyle. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- "AD Detergent Whimsical Animation TV Commercial - 1955". YouTube. February 6, 2010. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Marianne M. Jennings (December 13, 2010). Business: Its Legal, Ethical, and Global Environment. Cengage Learning. p. 447. ISBN 978-0-538-47054-4.
- collectologist (April 27, 2009). "Brisk Toothpaste | collectologist". Flickr. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "ada and elsie". YouTube. May 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Coleo/Colgates Vintage Original 1950's Soap X 3 PACK – L N F". Lostandfoundshop.ca. June 23, 2016. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "From Colgate Lasagna to the monoski, flops take center stage". Archived from the original on February 5, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- "Colgate Once Attempted Beef Lasagna. You're Not Alone in Your Missteps". Inc.com. December 19, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- "Did You Ever Wonder What Happened to Colgate Lasagna?". Food & Wine. Archived from the original on February 5, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
- "Colgate toothpowder double role english 30 secs". YouTube. October 21, 2009. Archived from the original on March 15, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on March 27, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Gillard, Dale (October 9, 2010). "Colgate chlorophylle | Dale Gillard". Flickr. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "colgate with chlorophyll - Google Search". www.google.com. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
- "Halo Shampoo commercial 1952 (extended version)". YouTube. February 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Lustre Creme Hair Shampoo Shirley Jones". YouTube. August 19, 1962. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Octagon All Purpose Laundry Bar Soap by Colgate - 7 Oz : Bath Soaps : Health & Personal Care". Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Vintage - Rapid Shave Shaving Cream Commercial". YouTube. October 17, 2011. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "3 Bars NOS Colgate's Peter Pan Beauty Soap Bars -1952 | #1830011308".
- "Soaky bubble bath - Australian TV commercial". YouTube. February 13, 2009. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Super Suds Detergent Box". Studebaker's General Store. Archived from the original on September 14, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Vintage Colgate Palmolive Super Suds Laundry Detergent (09/05/2008)". Worthpoint.com. September 5, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Supermarket Commercials Part 3: Swerl to Tide". YouTube. October 24, 2010. Archived from the original on December 2, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Remix this video (June 14, 2012). "Vel Dishwashing Detergent Commercial (1960s)". YouTube. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- "Quality Brands. Priced for Living". Phoenix Brands. Archived from the original on April 11, 2004. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Fitzgerald, Patrick (May 20, 2016). "Phoenix Brands files for bankruptcy protection". Market Watch. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- "Henkel to buy Colgate-Palmolive's Australian and New Zealand laundry brands". BBC News. May 12, 2015. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "Colgate Sells Asian Detergent Brands to P&G". WARC. January 5, 2006. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "Colgate-Palmolive, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 21, 2013" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "Colgate-Palmolive, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Feb 28, 2008". secdatabase.com. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- "Colgate-Palmolive opens Morristown toothpaste plant". Knox News Sentinel. February 28, 2008. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009.