Weinheim. June 26, 2015. Vileda Glitzi from Freudenberg is the epitome of a pan cleaner. The yellow, absorbent sponge in combination with the characteristic black scouring fleece turns 50 years old this summer. In this case, however, "old" would be the wrong word. Freudenberg experts have been steadily developing Glitzi, making it one of the world's most popular pan cleaners today. Last year, around 162 million units were sold, about 25 million of them in Germany.
Cooking is fun – cleaning up afterwards rather less so. Burnt or dried food residues in pans, roasters or pots present the toughest challenge of all – which is where a good scouring pad comes into its own. And in this department, Glitzi has been making its presence felt for 50 years.
The Glitzi success story began three years before it was actually launched onto the market. In 1962, Siegmund Fabian, then head of the Vileda marketing department at Freudenberg, was given the task of developing a material that would be suitable for cleaning stubborn dirt. One year later, Freudenberg launched a black scouring fleece onto the market, to which Freudenberg boffins added a yellow sponge in 1965. Vileda Glitzi was born.
"Our products are precisely tailored to the desires of consumers. We keep a close eye on what they need from us," says Carl Uwe Tintelnot, who has been working as a marketing manager at Vileda for almost 30 years. In the course of their research in the late 1960s, Freudenberg developers noticed the widespread popularity of nail polish, which flaked off during dishwashing. This observation inspired the idea of developing a groove at the center of the sponge, which would improve grip on the scourer during use while also protecting the fingers and nails. Glitzi was subsequently given its well-known appearance in 1968, becoming the first scourer to feature grip groove. "We were pioneers," Tintelnot comments.
The patent on the grip groove has since expired and there are many imitators on the market today. Nevertheless, Glitzi continues to enjoy terrific popularity. Dr. Olivier Bedue, who is responsible for research and development of scourers at Vileda, explains the phenomenon: "Glitzi remains successful because we keep developing it. For example, some time ago we launched Glitzi with the so-called "anti-bac" effect. This prevents the growth of bacteria in the sponge with up to 99.9 percent effectiveness. In this way, we are serving the growing need of consumers for a hygienically clean kitchen."
"Although it may not be obvious at first glance, there is a lot of high-tech in a scourer of this kind," adds Bedue. "In developing our new generation of pan scourers, the Glitzi Pur Active, we were looking for a material that would also be able to remove stubborn dirt from extremely sensitive surfaces like glass, acrylic, porcelain, stainless steel, chrome or brass without scratching them." Decisive in this regard was a social trend that Freudenberg had been quick to spot: Teflon®-coated pots and pans were becoming increasingly popular with consumers worldwide. However, their sensitive coating quickly became scratched if improperly cleaned and thus required special care.
It is many years since Glitzi first crossed the borders of its native Germany. Freudenberg has been selling pan scourers in other European countries since the 1970s and they are currently available in more than 35 countries worldwide. "We are seeing growing demand among the Arab countries, for example. With prosperity comes an increased need for hygiene," Tintelnot explains.
To celebrate Glitzi's 50th birthday, Freudenberg is launching a retro design edition, modeled on the original Glitzi packaging from 1968. A happy house-husband with a sparkling clean pan in his hand shows that cleaning with the proper scourer can be fun after all.
About the Freudenberg Group
The Freudenberg Group is a family company offering its customers technically challenging product solutions and services. The Group develops and manufactures seals, vibration control components, filters, nonwovens, products for surface treatment, release agents and specialty lubricants, medical and mechatronic products. Especially for mid-size companies Freudenberg develops software solutions and IT services. The end-user can find modern mechanical household cleaning products from Freudenberg in the shops under the brand names of vileda®, O-Cedar®, Wettex®, Gala®, Marigold® and SWASH®. The Freudenberg Group employed more than 40,000 people in about 60 countries and generated sales of more than €7 billion in 2014 (including pro-rata consolidation of our 50:50 joint ventures). For further information, please go to www.freudenberg.com.