Procter & Gamble Was Testing Opaque Detergent Pod Jars Before U.S. Launch

Since detergent pods hit the market back in 2012, authorities (and Consumerist) have been warning consumers to keep the products far, far away from children who might mistake them for candy. Procter & Gamble reports that incidents of young children poisoned by Tide’s detergent pods are way down. Public awareness probably helped, but putting them in jars that make them look less like candy has helped a lot more.

There have been about 14,000 cases of kids poisoned with laundry detergent since detergent pods hit the market last year, many of whom needed hospitalization. One fatality occurred earlier this year, a 7-month-old boy who died in Florida

Procter & Gamble’s Tide Pods currently have about 70% of the market here in the U.S. The white, orange, and blue swirled pods originally came in easy-to-open clear jars that looked like something out of an old-timey candy shop.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the original reason for the clear packaging was to show off the cool-looking pods, and show consumers how many came in each package. That makes sense, with a new product, but here’s the thing: similar problems came up with one of Procter & Gamble’s brands in Italy, because little kids everywhere are pretty much alike and enjoy sticking things in their mouths. At the same time Tide Pods hit the market in the U.S., the company was testing the new package in Italy. Why not introduce them here, too? The company “wanted to see whether opaque packages worked in Italy” first, says the WSJ. Did they? Evidently. Not before some more kids worldwide nommed on the pods, though.

Safety Experts Raise Concern Over Popular Laundry Packs [WSJ]
Tide’s New Pods Trying to Avoid the Candy Look [WSJ]