Sunlight (cleaning product)
|Product type||Dishwashing detergent|
|Owner||Unilever (except United States and Canada)|
Sun Products (United States and Canada)
Sunlight is a brand of dishwashing deteregent manufactured and marketed around the world by Unilever, except in the United States and Canada, where became owned by Sun Products (now Henkel Corporation) since 2008.
Sunlight household soap was introduced by the British company Lever Brothers in 1884. It was the world's first packaged, branded laundry soap. Designed for washing clothes and general household use, the success of the product led to the name for the company's village for its workers, Port Sunlight. The soap formula was invented by a Bolton chemist named William Hough Watson, who also became an early business partner. Watson's process created a new soap, using glycerin and vegetable oils such as palm oil rather than tallow (animal fats). William Lever and his brother James Darcy Lever invested in Watson's soap invention and its initial success came from offering bars of cut, wrapped, and branded soap in his father's grocery shop. This was an early labour-saving device for the housewife as prior to this, commercially made soap was bought in long bars. Sunlight soap was eventually supplanted by modern products made from synthetically produced detergents rather than naturally derived soaps.
In 1971, the company rebranded Sunlight as a washing-up liquid in the UK. The new packaging for Sunlight Lemon Liquid had a large picture of a lemon, and only featured the words "washing up liquid" in small letters. There were complaints that children might mistake the product for lemon squash and drink it. The matter was discussed in the House of Lords. The company responded by changing its packaging.
In several markets (e.g., Belgium and the Netherlands) Sunlight soap has survived as a personal wash product rather than a laundry detergent.
Sunlight is still used in some markets as a brand by Unilever (the successor of Lever Brothers). In Sri Lanka, Sunlight laundry soap has a market share of more than 75%, and won the “brand of the year” award in 2004. In South Africa, the brand is used for bath soap, dishwashing liquid, washing powder and fabric conditioner.
In 2003, exclusive licensing rights to the Sunlight brand for dishwashing detergents in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico were sold along with several Unilever brands to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Group, which established Phoenix Brands LLC for the purpose. In 2008, the North American trademark rights to Unilever laundry brands including Sunlight were acquired by Sun Products Corporation. In early 2010, Sun Products acquired the American and Canadian business rights to the Sunlight brand.
In Turkey in the summer of 2010, washing-up liquids produced under the brand Cif began marketing with the new compound brand Sunlight Cif. As well as the regular liquid, a concentrated washing-up liquid was introduced in three varieties (lime, lemon and orange); when it comes into contact with water, it turns into a gel which remains in the sponge longer than regular washing-up liquid.
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