Business

P&G focuses on Hispanics in U.S.

Procter & Gamble Co. representatives Dan Jackson, left, and Paul Vraciu showed off several Gain products at P&G's headquarters in Cincinnati.
Procter & Gamble Co. representatives Dan Jackson, left, and Paul Vraciu showed off several Gain products at P&G's headquarters in Cincinnati. ASSOCIATED PRESS

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble, seeking more sales to Hispanic consumers, is focusing this month's launch of Gain dishwashing liquid on that growing U.S. group.

The consumer products maker's first new hand-dishwashing brand in four decades will soon debut with a marketing campaign led by a Hispanic ad agency. While Gain brand managers expect non-Hispanic households also to be attracted, the campaign underscores that while P&G builds business in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil, it's also courting a growing group at home.

"That is the changing face of the consumer, and we need to reach those consumers," Kirk Perry, P&G vice president for North America, said of U.S. Hispanics.

Analysts say P&G and household competitors such as Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever are offering more products particularly popular with Hispanic consumers and trying to reach them by advertising everywhere from popular Spanish-language TV shows to the bilingual-oriented women's magazine Latina.

Why? The Hispanic population is growing faster, is younger and is having more babies than the U.S. population.

Hispanic consumers helped transform P&G's Gain laundry detergent in the past decade from a lackluster performer to one of the company's 22 billion-dollar brands in annual sales. P&G has found that Gain's scents have helped lure Hispanics, who make pleasing fragrances a high priority, according to demographic research by marketing firm Mintel.

Packages of Gain, with such scents as "Island Fresh," often have Spanish translations, and P&G also has begun selling Gain in bags, a more familiar packaging of detergent in Latin America, in the southwest United States.

Dan Jackson, who manages dishwashing brands for P&G, said the company's research predicts Gain will draw shoppers who aren't using its best-selling Dawn brand.

"It's the first new dish brand in 37 years, so it's not a decision that was made lightly," he said. He said Gain dishwashing will be priced at about $2 for a 30-ounce bottle, nearly a $1 less than Dawn.

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