Commercial for Persil from 1989.

Persil is a brand of laundry detergent manufactured and marketed by both Henkel in some countries (including Germany, France the Netherlands, Poland and most other European countries in addition to Middle East countries as Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria) and by Unilever in the UK, France and the Republic of Ireland, since acquiring rights to the brand in 1931, in others. Both Henkel and Unilever manufacture their own formulations, with Henkel’s being the original.

Invented in 1907, it is notable because it was the first commercially available laundry detergent. Persil is Unilever’s premium brand in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It is marketed as a powder, liquigel, “Small and Mighty” highly concentrated liquid detergent, liquid capsules and tablets. It is sold in biological, non-biological (with and without enzymes respectively) and colour care (biological, bleach-free) formulations. The range also includes specialist care products for wool and silk items. In the UK only, Unilever also uses the Persil brand to market a range of washing up liquid.

Unilever also market Persil in France. In this market, the brand focuses on natural ingredients and skin-friendly formulations and is sold alongside Unilever’s main brand in France, Skip. In French, Persil, meaning “Parsley” in French, lends itself to being a more herbal, natural product. Henkel also sells its Persil formulation in France under the name Le Chat, as Unilever owns the naming rights to Persil in this country. Therefore, it can be said that the original Persil products (by Henkel) are indeed sold in France but under a different name, while the product actually labelled Persil in this market is not the original but the Unilever versions.

Henkel also market’s Persil under the name Dixan in Cyprus, Greece, and Italy, and as Wipp in Spain and China.

Furthermore, there are some national markets where both Henkel’s Persil and Dixan can be found at major retailers in some instances. In such cases, Persil is given priority by Henkel in its marketing efforts.

In April of 2007, Henkel announced a global relaunching of the Persil brand to mark its 100th anniversary. Local brand names Le Chat, Dixan, and Wipp will also be visually redesigned shortly after Persil. This anniversary also marks 100 years of self-acting detergents which is what Persil pioneered at its conception.

Upscale German appliance manufacturer Miele acts as a direct importer of Henkel Persil powder in Canada where it can only be purchased at its licensed appliance dealers. It is displayed as a premium German import that is the officially recommended detergent for its washing machines. Due to this exclusive European importation status and specialty quality positioning at the appliance dealerships, it retails for about 40$ CAD a box. Specialty importers also exist in the USA.

The name is derived from two of its original ingredients, perborate and silicate, but the name is deemed unsuitable as an international brand, as it is hard to pronounce in some languages.

Info taken from Wikipedia

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