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Unilever relaunches Omo as soap wars intensify

Unilever has relaunched its washing detergent, Omo, in a bid to tighten its grip on the market.

It has now been dubbed Omo Fast Action, as part of continued attempts to fight off growing competition in the Kenyan market.

Speaking at their plant in Nairobi on Monday, Unilever EA chief executive Marc Engel said the company had used the latest technology in developing the product.

“The price and packaging size will, however, remain the same. This is our way of responding to the consumers’ needs to ensure we deliver a product they find comfortable to use,” said Mr Engel.

Omo, which has been in the market for the past six decades, is facing challenges from Proctor & Gamble’s Ariel detergent.

According to a survey carried out by Consumer Insight Africa last year, Ariel now controls 25 per cent of the market, while Omo holds 18 per cent.

The survey says although Ariel is leading, a combination of Unilever brands still control the largest portion of the market.

Sunlight detergent, Unilever’s low-end market product, has a market share of 17 per cent. 

Unilever plans to invest Sh12.6 billion ($150 million) in its business in the region by 2016.