High Margin Breakdowns: Laundry Detergent Edition

Source: P&G and Unilever annual reports, 2019

Key Takeaways

  • Procter & Gamble and Unilever, 2 heavyweights in the laundry detergent business, consistently make a significant share of their revenue — and, in particular, their profits — from fabric care.
  • Consistent innovation around convenient, sustainable, and premium design has created high margins for smaller, newer players.
  • Entrepreneurs can participate in this space with relatively little expertise (a bestselling bleach alternative has a single ingredient and a 97% profit margin).

Inside the Margins

Liquid detergent has historically had high profits, thanks to its reliance on water as a main ingredient and consumers’ tendency to over-pour.