NEW YORK -- Church & Dwight Co. has literally punched holes in its ubiquitous yellow Arm & Hammer Baking Soda boxes and created a new product in the process.
Called the Fridge-Freezer pack, the new style box incorporates 19 large air vents and a cloth lining that prevents spills of the powdery contents. The company expects the new package to lead to wider use of baking soda as a freezer deodorizer.
The new pack holds 20 ounces, compared with the standard 16-ounce box, and its Fresh-Flo Vents double the area of baking soda exposed to air compared with a standard box with its top removed.
Each box is shipped with a plastic overwrap that is easily removed by the consumer. Suggested retail price is 79 cents, compared with about 60 cents for a one-pound box.
"The Fridge-Freezer pack enhances and extends the use of our most basic product -- the little yellow box of baking soda. Throughout our history this box has been the engine that drives our growth. We have given that engine a big boost," said Dwight Minton, chairman and chief executive officer of Princeton, N.J.-based Church & Dwight.
Jim Barch, vice president of marketing, said: "Over 80% of American homes have a box of baking soda in their refrigerator. However, a box of baking soda is only in about 30% of freezers, despite the fact that odors in the freezer are just as bad, if not worse, as those in the fridge. This is because of the risk of spilling. Freezers are traditionally much more crowded than refrigerators." In the Fridge-Freezer Pack air can flow easily through the vents, but the baking soda is kept inside by the unique cloth membrane developed specifically for this use, according to Barch. "We also set a new standard in convenience. All you have to do is to remove the overwrap to expose the vents," he added.
While the traditional little yellow box of baking soda will still be available for cooking and cleaning purposes, "we are treating this as the single biggest innovation in refrigerator deodorization since we invented the idea some 20 years ago," Barch said.
He added that the new packs are also being promoted for use in closets, hampers, nurseries, lockers and other areas where strong odors harbor, but a traditional box of baking soda might spill.
Church & Dwight plans "state-of-the-art animation commercials" along with coupons good for 50 cents off the purchase of two boxes -- one for the freezer and one for the fridge. "Because this box is such an innovation it will be promoted very aggressively. It will be very hard for you to miss a commercial over the next few months," Barch said.
"We will also feature a variety of point-of-purchase materials throughout this year, including shelf-talkers and case cards to build awareness, trial and hopefully repeat purchases. Our market research studies show that about 80% of shoppers said that they are going to buy this," he added.