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Unilever had leadership position in the detergent powder with 75% [21] of market share. Omo, Minerva and Campeiro are ranked 1st, 2nd and 4th respectively in terms of market share (Exhibit 7).

Detergent powder market in North-east is growing at remarkable annual rate of 17% [22] .

Unilever brands in detergent powder are well known and perceived by Brazilians. As shown in Exhibit 3, most of Brazilians in North-east have either seen or have tried one of Unilever’s brands i.e. 97.2% [23] of consumer bought at least once per year. Also Exhibit 8 provides information that Unilever brands had high brand awareness, knowledge and penetration in NE in 1996.

Detergent remained the cash cow of Unilever Brazil, providing fuel for growth in other sectors.

Unilever were facing a big distribution issue in the North-east as its detergents are not present on shelves in approximately 75,000 [24] small outlets. Northeastern were not fond of going to big stores such as Wal-Mart or Carrefour where Unilever use to sell its brand but prefer going to small local stores.

No attention was paid to Low-income segment and its attributes.