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Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail Finds Fresh Use for Baking Soda

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Church & Dwight has found new usage for baking soda: A vented diaper disposal system. The brand tapped baby care maker Munchkin to launch Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, which hits stores this week.

Stores like Toys ‘R Us, Target and K-Mart will carry the diaper pail. The product, which retails for $29.99-$39.99 and carries the Munchkin logo, is also sold on e-commerce sites like Amazon.com, Diapers.com and Buybuybaby.com. Select Walmart stores are also carrying the product.

Munchkin—the maker of baby bath toys, potty seats and shampoo rinsers—said it’s been looking to get into the diaper pail category for some time, but it needed a “compelling and innovative” enough reason to do it, said senior brand manager Kristy Ardell. Energizer Holding’s Diaper Genie, sold under the Playtex brand, is the category leader, with a 90 percent share of the market between diaper pails and bag refills, Ardell said. Last September, Diaper Genie also launched a diaper disposal system targeted at eliminating odors. Called the Diaper Genie II Elite, the product contained an Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial to absorb smells.

In launching the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, Church & Dwight is hoping to “address the unmet needs of…[more than] four million new moms every year,” said the company’s licensing director, Tammy Talerico. (Munchkin developed the product under a licensing agreement with the packaged goods maker.) The move is Church & Dwight’s first significant foray into the baby products category, but the company sees it more as a way to extend the multiple uses of its baking soda product, Talerico added.

The new diaper pail combines “Arm & Hammer’s time-tested and trusted efficacy in cleaning and deodorization with Munchkin’s deep consumer insights and strong design and product development capabilities,” per Talerico. The new diaper pail will compete in a $125 million retail sales category. Other competitors include Diaper Décor and Diaper Champ.

Arm & Hammer and Munchkin’s 10-pack diaper pail refill bags sell for $5.99 to $6.99, and some of the pail’s other features include a “snap, seal and toss” bag-changing system and a vented, baking soda dispenser that lasts 90 days. The dispenser releases a pinch of baking soda each time a diaper is pushed through the odor-absorbing chamber.

“It’s like your baking soda box in the refrigerator, constantly at work,” Ardell, in an August interview, quipped. The baking soda “attacks the dirty diaper molecule by molecule.”

Church & Dwight and Munchkin are promoting the launch via a series of print and online ads by digital agency Razorfish, a Publicis Groupe company. There is also a dedicated microsite for the product: Diaperpail.com. The effort focuses on the “clever tips, which moms have found [to work for them] in their nurseries,” Ardell said.

Print ads will also appear in January parenting magazines; online ads are running on mommy sites like Parents.com, Coolmompicks.com and Babyzone.com. “This ties in nicely with our Diaper Pail, which is designed around one of mom’s most tried-and-true nursery solutions—using the natural power of baking soda to eliminate odors,” Ardell added.

Munchkin has also enlisted the help of mommy bloggers—including Lisa Sugar (Lil’ Sugar) and Michelle W. (Mama Plays Mozart)—to share parenting tips with consumers.