These are just a few of the things that boys are told when growing up. Add to that list: say your prayers, comb your hair and take out the trash. But one thing most boys are never told is, “do your laundry.”
During the past few decades, the stereotype has been established and reinforced, whether directly or indirectly, that laundry is exclusively the responsibility of the woman of the house. As a result, products for laundry care are aimed at women through clever marketing campaigns involving brightly colored bottles, flowery scents, and feminine-skewed labels and advertisements.
“Here we are in the 21st century, with the entire detergent industry still building into this decades old, outdated stereotype of a 1950s housewife doing the laundry, and men stuck using detergents clearly tailored for the opposite sex,” stated Erin Frey who, along with his brother Leif, founded Frey Detergent for Men.
It was at college, that the realization dawned on them as to just how few options there were for men in the laundry care aisle. The brothers teamed up to challenge the status quo by developing a product that men could use that would be tailored toward their more masculine interests, while still providing the same high-level of cleaning capabilities that other products offer.
“Our product is meant to give men a product of their own in an area of life where that is typically not seen,” Leif explained.
For the 52-week period ending November 2014, the liquid laundry detergent market in the US was valued at $5.2 billion with such brands as Procter & Gamble, Church & Dwight Co., and The Sun Products Corp. leading the pack. Diversifying to create definite brand value in this crowded, competitive market is key and the brothers are fighting to do just that.
Frey Detergent for Men is a rebranded initiative of a previous Kickstarter effort last November called, Real. This revisited version has been uniquely designed in several ways, beginning with its specially formulated musk and oak scent, a development process that the brothers are proud to say they undertook themselves and that lasted several, grueling months.
“We listed the ingredients of the top 20 men’s colognes, and found the two dozen most common ingredients,” Leif explained. “We then spent a few hours each day for over a month trying different ingredient combinations and ratios, asking the opinions of all our friends and family, then re-creating the scent, until we had one we were happy with.”
Following the production of a scent that the brothers found to be pleasing to men’s olfactory receptors, they turned their attention to the formulation of the cleaning component.
According to Leif, many leading brands incorporate ingredients into their formulations that are harmful to the environment and over time wear clothes down—ingredients like phosphates, brighteners, whiteners, and bleach-like substances that affect the color and lifespan of the clothes. With this in mind, they decided to pursue development of an eco-friendly, non-toxic product that featured “gentle, biodegradable enzymes that allowed the detergent to be effective in all water temperatures, be tough on stains and yet gentle on your clothing and the environment,” he insisted.
To that end, Frey utilizes a proprietary blend of surfactants and gentle enzymes to eliminate stains and odors. Though the brothers initially began the process of ingredient selection and blend research, they leave detergent production to a US contract manufacturer. The brothers manage product packaging and fulfillment for each order in-house at their Baltimore warehouse, while a Canadian company supplies the bottles.
At $11.50 per bottle of detergent, cost is marginally higher than the $7.05 average per unit price for liquid detergent in the US. However, the brothers are confident that consumers will pay more for the unique branding of their luxury detergent paired with the convenience of various, automatic-delivery subscription options, which start as low as $3 per month.
“Part of our value proposition is the convenience of detergent delivered to your door regularly as a subscription service,” stated Leif. “It’s the 21st century, there is no reason why people should not be able to have a superior product delivered to their doorstep.”
Frey Detergent debuted last month; a trial size bottle of detergent will be available soon at FreyForMen.com; it will give guys the opportunity to test the product before making a full purchase. Between the trial size option and a money-back guarantee, the Frey brothers are confident they can build a loyal following.