Friday, December 13, 2013

Sponge Makers Try to Woo Skeptics

Zalc
“Sponge Makers Try to Woo Skeptics ”
 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304281004579219992616379048
December 13, 2013

            Sponges are one of the most disgusting parts of a person’s kitchen, which an excessive amount of bacteria and unpleasing smell. The sponge industry is on a mission to create the best sponge in the world without the large amounts of bacteria and odors. Two companies 3M Co. and Scrub Daddy believe that they have found the best sponges in the world.
            
             3M Co., the largest sponge maker in the world is promoting their Stay Clean sponge that will not get “gunked up” by eggs or cheese and therefore reducing the odors by giving away one million samples. Scrub Daddy, a much smaller rival has introduced a smiley-faced yellow sponge that is “highly engineered” with polymer that cleans better and sheds bacteria more easily than the competing products. Research shows that these two companies are in a perfect market since Americans have spent more than $415 million on sponges and scouring sponges in the 52 weeks ending on November 3rd.  The larger company, 3M offers a large variety of sponges for the consumer’s needs and even some organic sponges for the all green families. Scrub Daddy on the other hand does not have such a large variety, but rather focuses on the accidental invention that is in Mr. Krause’s invention. “The best dish-washing sponge in the world,” in the eyes of Scrub Daddy is created out of synthetic material produced by a German company. This scrub has been featured on the hit TV show “Shark Tank” and has received a lot of popularity, but the reality is that a sponge will get dirty and fill with bacteria.

            
           Both 3M and Scrub Daddy are not able to completely eliminate the bacteria and the odors that come with the sponges in our homes. They are attempting to create better, more durable sponges, however they are not 100% there yet. The millions of bacteria that are found in sponges should push them to become obsolete, but we have yet to find a better replacement for them. Internationally, the article states that 3M has attempted to bridge the gap between the American form of cleaning and that of the Chinese form of cleaning. It has yet to be achieved because the Chinese do not use sponges to clean. In order for companies such as Sponge Daddy and 3M to grow in international markets, they most focus on the techniques used in cleaning dishes and possibly alter their product for the culture. In other international countries such as Latin America, sponges are used rather frequently, however these companies need to provide a cleaner solution. In third world countries, there is more risk of diseases and bacteria that can come from the sponges used than that in the United States. 3M and Scrub Daddy would be stronger if they could develop, promote, market and alter their sponges for the international communities

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