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Unilever clarifies Pears Soap reformulation reports

By Katie Nichol , 08-Jan-2010
Last updated on 08-Jan-2010 at 12:57 GMT2010-01-08T12:57:48Z

Hindustan Unilever, the manufacturer of Pears Traditional Soap, has clarified reports in the national press that it is abandoning the new product formulation introduced last year following a facebook campaign by users to reinstate the traditional recipe.

The facebook campaign, entitled “Bring back the original Pears Soap’ said that the formula had ‘changed considerably’, and now has a much stronger scent.

The campaign also pointed out that the product used more packaging, with the soap now enclosed in a cellophane wrapper, and the previous product claims of ‘hypoallergenic’ and ‘non-comedogenic’ were absent from the pack.

Responding to the reports, Unilever said that the Pears soap formulation launched over the past year has received a very encouraging response from consumer demonstrated by an increase in sales of the product.

“We have also, however, received feedback from a selection of consumers who have found the new perfume not to their liking” the company stated.

Reducing perfume impact

Hindustan Unilever has taken this feedback as input to make further improvements, by delivering a scent that more closely resembles the product our consumers are familiar with while retaining all the benefits that the new formulation delivers,” it added.

Regarding the stronger fragrance of the new product, Unilever said it is in the process of modifying the level or type of fragrance used in the soap in order to make it comparable to the original product.

Changes in manufacturing process led to product improvement

Unilever emphasised that the change to the formulation of the soap lay essentially in modifications to the manufacturing process designed to make the process less energy intensive.

Taking advantage of the new process, Unilever saw an opportunity to further improve the formula by adding consumer benefits such as increasing the levels of moisturiser in the product, the company said.

As a result, the soap now contains four humectants (moisturisers) as opposed to the one humectant contained in the original formula.

Increase in ingredients and packaging

While the number of ingredients in the new formula has increased,Unilever contradicted press reports that the number had tripled and said that a complete ingredients list is now provided on the pack for the benefit of consumers, whereas only ‘key ingredients’ were declared in the original product packaging.

In addition, the company confirmed that the soap continues to be hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, and these claims will be restored on the pack. It also emphasised that all product packaging is environmentally-friendly, with the inner flow wrap added to better protect the soap.

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