Anyone who's shopped for laundry detergent has more than likely asked the same question to themselves:  Why are some brands more expensive than others?  If the main ingredients are the same - it begs the question what makes one brand more expensive than  the others.

The easy answer to why some products cost more than others is marketing and demand.  Product manufactures spend years building a brand so that consumers want to buy it.  That demand allows the company to ratchet up the price of their product.  The reasoning is that someone will pay any price if they want the product bad enough.

At the top of the list for most-expensive laundry detergent is Tide - manufactured by Proctor & Gamble.  First introduced in 1946, Tide was one of the first synthetic detergents designed for washing machines. According to Wikipedia:

As of January 2013 Tide has more than 30% of the liquid-detergent market, with more than twice as much in sales as the second most-popular brand Gain, although it costs about 50% more than the average liquid detergent.

In some areas, Tide has become such a hot commodity item, that criminals steal it from stores to resell. Police call the detergent "liquid gold" on the black market and it's been known to be traded or sold for illegal drugs.

That lofty price point (50% more than other competing brands) makes Tide ripe for a cheaper alternative.  That facsimile is coming from it's manufacturer.

Procter & Gamble will introduce a lower-priced version of Tide in 2014, a liquid detergent called "Tide Simply Clean and Fresh," as it seeks to attract shoppers on a budget.

Proctor & Gamble has done similar marketing before - with their line of "discounted" paper towels called Bounty Basic - which is essentially a knock-off of their popular (and more expensive) brand Bounty.

Although Proctor & Gamble pledged to introduce this new version of Tide in 2014, as of the end of first quarter - the product called Tide Simple has yet to make an appearance on store shelves.

What do you think?  Do you use Tide?  Would you try a cheaper version of Tide?

P&G to Roll out Cheaper Version of Tide - ABC News.

Additional source material via Wikipedia.