P&G History

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A legacy of forward-thinking

For over 180 years, we’ve challenged norms and shaped the future — from the products we put on the shelf to the people we bring on our team. Click on a category to explore the milestones that made us who we are today.

Moments of brilliance

Serendipitous strokes of genius and passion-fuelled ideas created iconic brands and defined us as a company.

Connect + develop

OUR FUTURE

Open call for ideas

Our Connect + Develop programme helps us collaborate with innovators around the world to create solutions for our consumers’ needs.

Learn more

Crest Whitestrips

2000

A food wrap that whitens teeth: Glad Press’n Seal & Crest Whitestrips

To combat the problem of cling film losing its grip, P&G develops a technology and creates Glad Press’n Seal. At the same time, a young employee working on at-home teeth whitening products links up with his mentor who shares a prototype of the food wrap with him. Sparked by this new idea, they cut the wrap into small strips, and apply it to their teeth. Shortly after, Crest Whitestrips is developed.

Swiffer Wet Jet

1998

One insight that led to easier cleaning for all: Always & Swiffer Wet Jet

A consumer explains to a product researcher that while she likes Mr. Clean liquid, it doesn’t make the cleaning process any easier. She opens her broom cupboard — full of mops, brushes, and buckets — and asks him to clean that up. Our researchers combine our capabilities in highly absorbent non-wovens, like the ones used in Always and Pampers, with our cleaner solutions expertise, and create both the Swiffer Wet Jet and the Quick Clean products.

Pampers

1961

A grandfather inspired by his grandson: Pampers

While looking after his first grandchild, a P&G researcher quickly notices how messy terry nappies are and that they have to be carried around until returning home. This leads him and fellow researchers to develop a better and more affordable disposable nappy. Since then, Pampers has developed continuously — moving from pins to tapes, becoming thinner and more cloth-like, and with custom designs for babies at every stage of development.

Bounce

1973

A softener for the dryer: Bounce

With the arrival of tumble dryers in homes, static cling becomes a key issue. P&G finds a new way to deliver fabric softener via a towel. Research quickly leads us to an inventor who had already figured it out, and we acquire the technology. Bounce dryer sheets are introduced as a fresh alternative to liquid fabric softeners.

A Father's Concern: VapoRub

1894

A father's concern: VapoRub

A pharmacist develops several home remedies, such as cough syrups and other liquids that he sells in his local shop. One day his infant son becomes unwell. Unsure if any of the ingestible products would be effective, he creates an externally-applied salve that releases cough-soothing vapours when heated by the body. His son’s health improves, and generations around the world grow up with VapoRub.

A corporate force for good

Our employees have been the driving force behind our support for our environment, communities, and people — a practice that has been ingrained in our culture for over a century.

Building our impact

OUR FUTURE

Building our impact

Each year, we actively continue to integrate citizenship into our business practices. The more we do that, the bigger the impact we can have on the people we serve, the communities where we live and work, and the broader world that surrounds us.

See what we’re up to now

LikeAGirl

2015

Always #LikeAGirl

The most-liked commercial from the 2015 Super Bowl changes the conversation about girls and sports, taking a derogatory phrase and making it one of empowerment, strength, and pride. Millions of girls around the world rally to change #LikeAGirl to mean amazing things. This massive engagement starts to change public perception: while only 19% of girls had positive associations with the phrase “like a girl” before the campaign, 76% agree they no longer view the phrase as an insult after watching the Always #LikeAGirl film.

Summer olympics

2012

Summer Olympics campaign

After the success of our 2010 “Proud sponsor of mums” campaign, we launch “Thank you, mum" — a campaign where we support 150 global athletes and their mums. When asked how we can help them most, mums respond that they'd like to see us support youth sports. For this reason, we commit to raising $25 million globally.

Honored in the community

2012

Honoured in the community

The United Way — a not for profit organisation that fights for health, education, and financial stability — celebrates its 125th anniversary and awards us with The Spirit of America Award, its highest national honour for any corporation. We have always set great store by supporting our local communities, starting in 1915, with Cincinnati’s first coordinated community charity following devastating floods in the region.

Tide Loads of Hope

2005

Tide Loads of Hope

The programme is launched to help families hit by natural disaster by washing, drying, and folding laundry for them. By 2012, we wash more than 34,000 loads of laundry for families affected by disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the San Diego wildfires, and Hurricane Ike. In 2017 alone, the Tide Loads of Hope programme washes 3,100 loads of laundry.

Children's Safe Drinking Water

2004

Safe drinking water for children

An employee looks into cleaning water to make doing the laundry easier for mums in an African village. As his team works on a way to reuse the water after the wash, they leverage P&G laundry technology and soon realise they can get it so clean you could drink it. So instead of laundry, they bring families clean drinking water — a much more important need.

Dawn Wildlife Rescue

1978

Dawn wildlife rescue

International Bird Rescue begins testing all major washing-up liquid brands for their cleaning properties and discovers that Dawn works the best. It’s the only product strong enough to remove the oil, yet gentle enough to not harm the integrity of the feathers. Since then, P&G has donated over 50,000 bottles and helped more than 75,000 animals.

Products that broke the mould

P&G's history is full of innovations that solved problems and inspired others in the industry to follow.

Inventing the Products We Need

OUR FUTURE

Inventing the products we need

Working with our own experts and innovators and by cooperating with others, we’re identifying the consumer needs that aren’t being met, and developing technology to fulfil them.

See what we’re working on now.

Venus Razor

2001

The first razor designed specifically for women

For the first time, Gillette asks women about their shaving experience, not just their shaving needs. Venus is developed after recognising the key differences between men’s and women’s shaving. Using our best blades, Venus incorporates rounded cartridges, anti-bacterial rubber, and in-shower ergonomics and packaging.

Head&Shoulders

1961

Dandruff solved

Consumers were dissatisfied with anti-dandruff shampoos available at the time. After 10 years of research, our scientists discover Pyrithione Zinc, an ingredient that reduces dandruff. We introduce it as Head & Shoulders in 1961 and it quickly becomes one of P&G’s biggest brands. In 1988, we launch it as our first brand in China.

Preventing tooth decay

1955

Preventing tooth decay

Our researchers collaborate with Indiana University to develop the first stable fluoride toothpaste. Crest is introduced and becomes the first fluoride toothpaste clinically proven to fight cavities and help prevent tooth decay — the second-most prevalent disease at the time. We also start a dialogue with dentists, enlisting them to help patients prevent dental issues instead of just treating them — dramatically changing the way people think about taking care of their teeth. In 1960, the American Dental Association recognises Crest as effective against cavities, catapulting the brands credibility.

The Soft Toothbrush

1949

The soft toothbrush

A Californian dentist invents Oral-B toothbrushes using soft nylon bristles, out of concern for his patients gums. As a small entrepreneur, he sells them only to his dentist friends who in turn recommend the brand to their patients. Oral-B will grow to become one of the largest global brush brands.

Tide, The Washday Miracle

1946

Tide, the washday miracle

In 1933, Dreft is introduced as the first-ever household synthetic detergent, but researchers continue to develop a product that can clean the consumer’s toughest stains. After almost a decade of failed work, the project is ordered to stop. But for 7 years, the lead researcher secretly works on the product in his spare time. By 1946, he has created a game-changing product which is introduced as Tide. Called “the washday miracle”, it cleans better than anything on the market.

The Soap That Floats

1879

The soap that floats

James N. Gamble, son of the founder, recognises that families have 2 different bars of soap — one for laundry and one for bathing. He creates an innovative single bar of soap that works for both purposes. Named Ivory Soap, it takes the country by storm as one of the company’s most legendary brands.

Tech that revolutionised the industry

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that there is always a smarter, more efficient, or better way of doing things. This principle has led to P&G products that have changed the way of thinking in the various sectors.

Keeping the Gears Moving

OUR FUTURE

Keeping the gears moving

We’re constantly working to propel the industry into the future — whether it’s with product and packaging innovations, coming up with creative ways to use data, or finding ways to reinvent our business model.

Tide Pods

2012

Tide Pods

Designed as a detergent, stain remover and brightener in one, Tide Pods break through the laundry products sector. The pods deliver a new formula in a small dose that is HE compatible and twice as concentrated as the 2x Tide Liquid available at the time.

Changing the Aircare Category

1998

Changing the air care sector

One the biggest unmet consumer needs is finding a way to clean things that can’t go into the washing machine. With that problem in mind Procter & Gamble invents Febreze; a product that doesn’t just cover up bad odours, but actually removes them.

Invention of 2-in-1

1986

Invention of 2-in-1

Our researchers set out to perfect a formula that cleans, lathers, rinses, and conditions in one convenient step. After more than three years of work, we launch the first “2-in-1” shampoo and conditioner on the market and expand that technology to Head & Shoulders, Pantene, and Vidal Sassoon.

A New Way to Make Paper

1965

A new way to make toilet paper

Recognising that people could only buy paper that was either soft or strong, Charmin creates a new way to allow for both in the same tissue, calling it CPF. With this new technology comes the famous ad campaign, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin”.

Improving the Razor

1901

Improving the razor

King C. Gillette patents the KC Gillette Razor, an alternative to the straight razor. A breakthrough in the sector, its reusable handle and disposable blade provides men with a safe and convenient way to shave.

Practices that improve people's lives

Providing customers with quality products that improve their day-to-day lives has driven our existence for over 180 years.

Ingredient Transparency

OUR FUTURE

Ingredient transparency

We’re committed to continuing transparency about the ingredients we use (and don’t use) so that you can be confident when you choose P&G products.

See our fragrance ingredients list here

P&G in Your Neighborhood

2007

P&G in your neighbourhood

Tide Dry Cleaners launches in the US in 2008 and is P&G’s big move into the service industry. It is quickly franchised across the country and in the first two years, serves over 500,000 customers, processes over 3.4 million garments, and creates over 150 jobs.

Talking to Consumers

1941

Talking to consumers

We become one of the first companies to formally respond to consumer correspondence. By 1974, free-phone numbers allow consumers to contact us directly. By the 1990s we incorporate email, and with the advent of social media in the 2000s, connecting with consumers becomes easier than ever. In 2011, we invent a listening solution which lets brands monitor what consumers are saying about their products in real-time.

Start of Market Research

1924

Start of market research

Dr Paul "Doc" Smelser, an economist from Johns Hopkins University, joins the team. He collects statistical data, breaking down consumers by income and background, making us the first company to conduct deliberate, data-based market research with consumers. This allows us to improve consumer understanding and anticipate their needs to create products that improve everyday life.

First R&D Lab

1890

First R&D lab

R&D quickly becomes a critical function at P&G and our first lab is added to the Ivorydale facility. By the 1920s, R&D is an integrated division of our company, employing a staff of several hundred young men and women. The research department develops ways to improve products, then passes on its findings to be translated into new manufacturing processes.

Honest Business Ethics

1887

Honest business ethics

P&G products, with their reputation for quality, made by an ethical company, begin to be recognised by the slogan “Highest grade, honest weight”. A retailer in Chicago, Illinois carries nothing but P&G products due to the demand for trusted products.

An Industrial Masterpiece

1886

An industrial masterpiece

After a disastrous fire at our first plant, Ivorydale is purpose built as a modern manufacturing facility. Designed by one of the USA's foremost industrial architects, Solon Beman, the new plant incorporates the latest designs for the safety and comfort of employees. We spend the next 130 years and more expanding these manufacturing principles across the globe.

A company that puts people first

What enables us to be one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world is filling our buildings with passionate, inspired, motivated people who believe in going the extra mile, every day.

Diversity in Everything We Do

OUR FUTURE

Diversity in everything we do

We believe in diversity and inclusion. That’s why we support it wherever possible — from creating flexible work schedules for our employees to building inclusive playgrounds for children with and without disabilities.

Learn more about our endeavours

Women in Saudi Arabia

2005

Women in Saudi Arabia

We become the first consumer goods company to be granted a licence to hire women in Saudi Arabia. Since then, our Saudi Arabian team has made significant progress in incorporating the talents and insights of women, while still respecting cultural norms and values.

Women in Senior Positions

1992

Women in senior positions

The percentage of women filling senior management positions increases from 5% in 1992 to 30% in 2011. In the five years to 2011, over 43% of newly recruited management roles are filled by women.

LGBTQ+ Rights

1992

LGBTQ+ rights

P&G includes sexual orientation in its Equal Employment Opportunity statement. The following year we support the creation of an internal grassroots organisation known as GABLE and its efforts for LGBTQ+ inclusion within the company.

Diversity Programming

1962

Diversity programming

Two years before the U.S. government mandates it, we initiate a diversity programme for all employees — providing training and support to foster leaders regardless of sex, race, or religious orientation.

Education Equality

1905

Education equality

James N. Gamble helps establish what becomes the Bethune-Cookman University. This is just the beginning in the company’s long tradition of supporting historically black colleges and universities.

Sustainable steps to a brighter future

A snapshot of all our sustainability achievements and endeavours.

Ambition 2030

OUR FUTURE

Ambition 2030

During Earth Week in 2018, we released new sustainability goals for 2030 with one purpose in mind: to make a positive impact on our environment while creating value for our consumers.

Learn more about our plan to address finite resources and growing consumption

World's 1st Beach Plastic Shampoo Bottle

2016

World's first beach plastic shampoo bottle

Head & Shoulders produces a bottle made from up to 25% recycled beach plastic — the first major step in establishing a unique supply chain involving thousands of volunteers and hundreds of NGOs.

Making Zero Waste a Reality

2013

Making zero waste a reality

We announce during Earth Week that 45 P&G sites around the world have achieved zero-manufacturing-waste-to-landfill status, leading us to set bigger goals for 2030.

Coldwater Technology

2005

Coldwater technology

80-85% of the energy used in the laundry process is used to heat water. After the environmental impact of that becomes clear, we develop Coldwater technology to deliver optimal performance at lower temperatures.

Environmentally-Responsible Flushables

2003

Environmentally responsible flushable wipes

We lead the development of guidelines for flushable products published by The Water Environment Research Foundation in the USA.

A New Life for Plastics

1989

A new life for plastics

We start using recycled plastic in our packaging, but our use of recycled polypropylene (PP) is limited due to a lack of availability of high-quality material. We need a solution, so one of our scientists invents a sustainable technology to recycle a type of plastic that wasn’t previously recyclable — helping us reduce even more waste.

Reducing Packaging & Water Use

1983

Reducing packaging and water consumption

Triple concentrate Downy makes its debut as one of P&G’s first products to reduce packaging and water consumption. Over the years, we introduce this responsible technology into other products like Dawn, Fairy, Tide, and Ariel.

Establishing the Importance of Safety

1956

Establishing the importance of safety

P&G publishes its first environmental safety publication, providing research on surfactants (like emulsifiers, detergents, and foaming agents) in rivers. This topic continues to be important to P&G as demonstrated by the biological monitoring programme at our paper manufacturing plants in 1969 and the release of our first Annual Global Environmental Report in 1993.