Sunday 23 February 2014

Threats for the detergents category - Bead-based washing machine could put market in a spin

And just when we thought that detergent innovation was about faster, cheaper, cleaner, along comes a solution from outside the box...

The Xeros washing machine looks like a standard machine, but washes clothes with reusable plastic beads that absorb dirt, resulting in an environmentally friendly wash that uses far less water and detergent.

Sheffield-based Xeros has announced plans for a potential £100m stock market listing that could bring its pioneering technology to the mass market. Developed by Stephen Burkinshaw, a chemist at Leeds University, the appliance is aimed at commercial laundries, but the company has already developed a prototype for domestic use and is looking to sign a deal with a major manufacturer.

As evidence of its serious intent, the group has filed 27 patents for a range of reusable polymer beads to clean textiles, synthetic fibres, plastics, leather, metal, glass, paper, cardboard and wood.

Cost reductions:
Cost Factor                            Conventional Washing Xeros Cleaning Saving
Water (litres per kg washload)                 20.0                         5.6           72%
Heat (KwH per kg of wash load                0.17                        0.09         47%
Detergent (g/kg of wash load)                  16.0                          8.0           50%
Source: Xeros site

Whilst category management usually rewards enhanced focus within the category, the Xeros innovation provides a reminder that substitution or even replacement of the category might prove more rewarding...

No comments: