Online Exclusives

SpongeTech Wrings Out a Big Gain in Sales

By Marshall Pearson, Assistant Editor | July 30, 2009

The cleaner-in-a-sponge concept has proved to be a big hit with consumers.

Time-strapped consumers have always paid a premium for convenience, but as the recession drags on, many customers are no longer able or willing to shell out more cash for time-saving products. But that's not the case with SpongeTech, as demand for the company's novel sponges continues to soar.

SpongeTech’s cleaner-infused sponges perform a wide variety of tasks. Every product is infused with 32 oz. of assorted cleaning solutions that are activated by water and a squeeze.

The Car Sponge Kit ($19.95) is comprised of two sponges that include car wash, Carnuba wax and a degreasing agent. Puddle Pals, SpongeTech’s line of children’s sponges ($7.99), contain hypo-allergenic, ultra gentle soap; Uncle Norman’s Pet Sponge ($7.95) holds shampoo, a coat conditioner and an odor inhibitor, and the Tub & Tile Cleanser ($8.95) retains a degreasing agent and detergent soap. SpongeTech also offers a Medical Sponge that retails for $9.95 and includes the same degreasing product and detergent soap in a smaller size.

The company began laboratory development of its technology in 1999, but products didn't reach the market until 2007. After posting revenues of $55,000 that year, SpongeTech's sales increased to $5.6 million in 2008 and then to $31 million through the first three quarters of 2009 with projected sales in 2009 totaling $40 million, according to SpongeTech’s Director of Marketing, Jack Schwartzberg.

Perhaps the main reason for this unexpected growth rate is SpongeTech’s recent and massive advertising campaign. As of 2008, 72% of the company’s sales came from international markets, with the remainder being largely attributed to television and online sales. According to Mr. Schwartzberg, the new advertising campaign was designed to expand the avenues in which SpongeTech does business.

“The goal of our advertising campaign is to drive the consumer to retail, and we are achieving it day by day…our market penetration grows daily,” he said.

The company’s best selling product has been the 3-Pack Car Sponge Kit, but a new product is poised to usurp that title. The Spongebob Squarepants Soap-Filled Bath Sponge debuted at a recent mini-launch in New England and, due to strong demand, the number of stores stocking the product was increased from 9 to 200 in just three weeks. The line is sure to please parents with its infused non-toxic, ultra gentle soap, as well as entertain children with the lovable face of Spongebob displayed on each sponge.

SpongeTech's Wash & Wax sponge is a huge hit.
Mr. Schwartzberg is confident that the company will continue to grow leaps and bounds with the product’s retail launch, despite its unannounced date.

“It has been an absolute blockbuster…and every store sold out on the first day," he said. "Our category manager gets 15 emails a day asking for more…everyone wants it and it will sell.”

Outside factors may also boost sales of the Spongebob Squarepants Soap-Filled Bath Sponge. The beloved cartoon celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and SpongeTech will look to squeeze all it can outof Nickelodeon's massive marketing plan for the character. According to Mr. Schwartzberg, Spongebob represents a brand that everyone knows and this will likely translate into increased sales.

SpongeTech’s plans for the future extend beyond Spongebob Squarepants. In addition to owning the personal product licenses to Spongebob’s affiliated characters, the company is developing a delivery system for suntan lotion and is working with major companies seeking to infuse their products into SpongeTech’s delivery system. In the meantime, SpongeTech is expanding its consumer base. The company’s products are currently available at Walgreens, Ace Hardware, CVS Pharmacy, Jewel, Kroger and Costco.

Despite the economic downturn, Mr. Schwartzberg said that savvy shoppers are willing to invest in SpongeTech’s innovative technology.

“Consumers will pay for these products because you would pay for 32 oz. of soap or wax. This is the same product, but in a different container…our sponges have a different cost because they are a high-tech product.”

More information about SpongeTech can be found at www.spongetechs.com.
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