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Interview with Luca Spadoni of Reckitt

R&D Director at Reckitt

Chemist by education having graduated from the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ in 1994, Luca started his career in P&G in the Laundry Additives Groups before moving to Benckiser Spain in 1998 as Support Chemist for Western Europe. He then went to Reckitt Italy in 2000 where he has held different positions but is currently R&D Site Director for the Reckitt Fabric Care R&D in Mira province of Venice and R&D Director of Vanish global product portfolio.

Question 1 - In the realm of laundry care, how laundry additives deliver a consumer benefit beyond the laundry detergents? 

Luca: When it comes to laundry, the energy game is all about water temperature. The choice of water temperature in European households is the key contributor of energy expenditure. 

Picture this: the warm or hot water selected by consumers for their laundry cycles is where the energy bucks are spent.

In response to this fact, the A.I.S.E. launched an educational campaign back in 2013. Their mission was to nudge consumers toward a cooler path—specifically, lower temperature washing.

But here’s the twist: A recent study by Electrolux reveals that nearly two-thirds of the Europeans still wash clothes at temperatures above 30°C. Why? Well, it’s a trust issue. The main reason preventing European consumers to wash at lower temperatures is the lack of confidence in the cleaning efficacy. Let’s break it down:

  • Cleaning Performance: 47% of respondents wonder if their clothes will truly get clean.
  • Stain Removal: 39% wonder if stains will be removed.
  • Germ Removal: 29% worry about germ removal and hygiene of their laundry.
  • Odor Removal: 25% are not happy with bad smells

And this is where laundry additives enter the scene. These products enhance the consumer experience, providing confidence by truly delivering superior consumer experiences by complementing detergents and together delivering against the laundry jobs to be done.   

Question 2 - What technologies or ingredients in your products are designed to address this issue effectively?

Luca: Washing at lower temperature is instrumental to a more environmentally friendly laundry process, but it can only work if chemistry takes the burden of removing stains and odours, so that cleaning becomes achievable. An efficient bleach system that is safe on clothes and works at low temperatures can bring the extra chemical power needed. However, it’s not present in many laundry detergents or it's not formulated in an efficient way.  Vanish launched a new formula including an organo-catalyst that enables a better, more efficient chemistry to remove stains and odours from clothes even at lower temperature, with less mechanical stress and in shorter cycles. A gentler yet more effective chemistry based on organo-catalysis allows to save up to 80% of energy, reduce in 30% the CO2 footprint of the laundry process, shred 16% less microfibers and give longer life to clothes with no compromise on stain removal.  Clear benefits for the consumer and for the environment.

Question 3 - What are you most looking forward to at the Cleaning Products EU Conference 2024?

Luca: The climate change situation is a real problem we are facing as a society. To reduce the impact of our habits on the climate, several companies, including Reckitt, launched plans to dramatically reduce the CO2 footprint during the next years. The success of these commitments depends on efforts made by everyone involved in the production and use of cleaning products, from suppliers, FMCG companies to consumers. I am mostly looking forward to learning more about the plans of other companies in this area.

DAY ONE - 9th APRIL 2024

SESSION FOCUS:  Exploring the Significance of Hygiene and Unleashing the Potential of Probiotics

4.25pm - The importance of delivering hygiene to consumers - Luca Spadoni