Spotlight on Product of the Year winner Comfort Ultimate Care

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Unilever brand Comfort Ultimate Care was a Product of the Year winner in 2022, taking top place in the Laundry Additives category.

Rachel Greene, Marketing Manager at Unilever brand Comfort, talks to Mediashotz about the win, innovation and how Unilever is helping to create a brighter future for the clothes care industry.

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Rachel Greene, Marketing Manager, Comfort brand, Unilever.

Tell us about the winning product and why you think it continues to resonate so well with consumers.

Comfort Ultimate Care is a game-changing range of fabric conditioners that actively protect your clothes from the rough and tumble of a machine wash. 

The product formulation helps to reduce bobbling, fading, shape loss, and ultimately, gives clothes more longevity. 

Unique to the fabric conditioner category is our not-so-secret ingredient, a ‘pro-fibre technology’ that coats individual fibres within your clothing to help protect them. 

What impact has winning POY had on the product?

We’re really excited to have won a Product of the Year award and the impact of winning has been two-fold. 

First, it’s gone down very well internally and is validation for everyone in the company who has played a huge part in helping achieve the win. 

Secondly, it sends a strong signal to the market that we’re innovating in a field that can sometimes get overlooked for its achievements. 

We’ve made significant investments into perfecting the product range, but when you’re trying to become a pioneer in a category, there’s always an element of risk. 

Clearly, it was worth taking! It’s been great to get positive feedback from shoppers telling us that they love the new range. 

Sustainability is a big focus for you, and your category. What role does sustainability play alongside innovation? 

Our mission at Unilever is to make sustainable living common place. As well as creating great products, this is at the core of all our new products and innovation.

Household favourites like Comfort are a tool for change in a way that’s much more accessible for consumers who are looking for ways to reduce their eco footprint, whilst still enjoying the products they know and love.

Packaging sustainability is hugely important and a big focus for us. 

Taking the Comfort Ultimate Care range as an example, the bottles are made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) material and are also fully recyclable; just remove the sleeve, pop the bottle in your recycling bin and take the sleeve to a soft plastic recycling point. 

The fabric conditioner is also ultra-concentrated, so you need to use less of the product per wash versus our regular concentrated Comfort, which has allowed us to reduce our packaging size and plastic per wash. 

Plus, it works just as well at lower temperatures, which reduces electricity usage. That’s a win, win.

Tell me about the plans and ambitions for the product?

The first thing we’ll do is to get the Product of the Year logo printed on the entire range. 

We want to make some noise about it because it’s a vote of confidence by consumers for consumers, that this is a product they rate. 

Meanwhile… We’ve also been busy working on a new product that’s recently launched, Comfort Tropical Lily. A potential entrant for Product of the Year 2023 perhaps?!

What do you think will be the biggest development in your category in the next five years?

Sustainability will continue to be key for new product development, but within that, we’ll be working hard to innovate within ‘clothes care’. 

A not-so-fun-fact… the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after oil and the average garment is worn roughly 7-10 times. 

At Comfort our goal is to help people care for their clothes so they can keep hold of them for longer and look after them as best they can. 

How do you pre-empt wants and needs and stay ahead?

Future forecasting is always a massive part of what we do to stay ahead of the game. 

We always need to be keeping track of what’s important to consumers and what will be important in the near and far future, to ensure our new formulations will resonate.

How do you foresee the future of how we, as consumers, will use cleaning products for clothes?

Machines of the future will continue to innovate to run shorter cycles, work on lower temperatures and become more efficient overall. 

Our products will need to meet the demands of tech innovation while keeping our clothes in mint condition.

Can you describe your winning product in three words?

Complete clothes protection