Online Exclusives

Clorox Dives into a New Category

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | September 30, 2013

Private label firm KIK Custom Products is taking Clorox, one of the most well known brands in household care, into a new consumer lifestyle category.

Come on in, the water’s just fine—or better yet, void of any major brand. That’s how executives at KIK Customer Products Inc. and Clorox view the pool and spa category—and the pair has teamed up to create Clorox Pool&Spa, a new line that will address the care and maintenance needs of pool and hot tub owners nationwide.

According to SBI Energy, the US market for swimming pool equipment and maintenance products was valued at more than $3.4 billion in 2011, covering items such as chemicals, cleaners and maintenance products as well as wide range of hardline products (heaters, covers and pumps) and more. These essentials can be purchased at many outposts from national retailers to home improvement box stores to independent pool and spa retailers.

But with no “comprehensive, fully assorted pool and spa care programs with a national consumer brand in the marketplace today, Clorox and KIK saw an opportunity to enter the category with Clorox as a trusted premium brand,” Doreen Gormley, SVP-business development, KIK Classic, KIK Custom Products Inc., told HAPPI. “The Clorox Pool&Spa program will deliver on Clorox brand values in this new lifestyle category; it will be attractive to retailers and compelling to consumers.”

The collection, which is set to debut at US retailers sometime in 2014, will include a full assortment of pool and spa care products like chlorinating SKUs, algae care and tile cleaners as well as accessories.

While Clorox may be new to the pool and spa business, KIK has gotten its feet wet in the category. The firm entered the pool care business in 2011 with the acquisition of Chem-Lab Products Inc.  Currently, KIK manufactures and sells Kem-Tek brand pool products in the US.

KIK Custom Products’ US subsidiary, Easy 1 2 3 Pool Care LLC, will be responsible for manufacturing, marketing and distributing the Clorox Pool&Spa product line.

The Clorox accord is limited to pool and spa chemicals and accessories under the Clorox Pool&Spa brand in the US and Canada. All other Clorox and KIK business interests and operations will remain separate in all respects, according to company officials.

In addition to its pool-related business, KIK manufactures an extensive range of bleach and household cleaning products for the private label programs of some of North America's leading retailers. It also markets a number of its own brands to meet the specific needs of small to medium-sized retailers, institutions and consumers. Those include Top Job, Pure Bright, Arctic White, Arctic Bright, Blanco Bleach and Hi-lex.
According to Gormley, the Clorox Pool&Spa range is designed to grow the category through “genuine consumer insights, simplifying assortment and purchase decisions, and meaningful innovation.”

Gormley noted the strengths each firm brings to the table. She commented, “KIK has pool and spa care capabilities and category experience; Clorox has iconic national brand recognition and heritage in the cleaning space.”