Tide Pods Show Unintended Consequence in Use of Food-style Packaging


Following the U.S. launch of Tide Pods, approximately 250 people have called their local poison control centers. Young children have been mistaking the colorful detergent packaging for candy.

The situation is made even more dangerous due to the functionality of the pouches. Each individual pouch is meant to dissolve quickly into the wash, and the detergent has a similar effect when placed in a child’s mouth.

“The packets used for Tide Pods look somewhat like gummy candies, marshmallow candies, or even Asian jelly candies,” says Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director for Datamonitor. “This isn’t the first time a product ran into trouble based on its similar appearance to candy.Camel Orbs Dissolvable Tobacco has been cited as being very candy-like in appearance.And new dietary supplements in formats like gummy candies and pieces of chocolate candy can also be confusing.”

The pods are thought to be the next big thing in laundry detergent, with the single doses expected to take over 35 percent of the market over the next 5 – 10 years. Other companies have begun to create their own similar products, but to combat the packaging confusion over the pods Proctor and Gamble will be releasing a new child-resistant container during the summer.

Posted by Melanie Figueroa