The First Brands acquisition: Marking 25 years 

Twenty-five years ago, Clorox was transformed dramatically when we acquired First Brands Inc., doubling our size and bringing together the brands, culture and people of two great companies.  

The First Brands portfolio boasted iconic brands, including Glad trash and food protection, Scoop Away and Jonny Cat litter, and STP auto care products. While Jonny Cat and STP were sold in the years following the acquisition, Glad and Scoop Away remain big parts of our business.  

Since the purchase, we’ve built on First Brands’ hallmark of strong innovation. One of the ways we did that was transitioning the Glad business into a joint venture that brought together our strong operational expertise with Procter & Gamble’s innovative technologies. 

For our Glad brand, the joint venture yielded game-changing product innovation such as ForceFlex™ technology, giving consumers trash bags with superior strength, durability, and rip and leak protection, and Press ‘N’ Seal® food wrap, which can cling to a wide range of surfaces and offers a leakproof, airtight seal. We also introduced OdorShield® technology, tapping trademark P&G scents Febreze and Gain as well as our own Clorox and Pine-Sol brand scents to provide superior odor control. And we ventured beyond the everyday black, white and gray to offer experiential colors and fragrances, including pink in Cherry Blossom scent, blue in Beachside Breeze and green in Sweet Citron Lime. What’s more, Glad trash bags are now made from less plastic than before but haven’t sacrificed their hallmark strength. 

Scoop Away has also added many new features pet parents and their cats love. Those include activated carbon odor control technology, paw-activated fragrance to only deliver it when needed, and packaging options such as  large-format bags and easy-to-carry individual pouches offering more control of how litter is bought and dispensed. 

The First Brands purchase brought numerous facilities under our tent as well, including our Glad plants in Rogers, Arkansas (two times the size of anything we had at the time); Amherst, Virginia; and Orangeville, Ontario, in Canada, as well as our litter plant in Spring Hill, Kansas. They remain part of our network, as does an R&D facility in Willowbrook, Illinois. We recently added a cat litter plant in Martinsburg, West Virginia, to better serve pet parents and their cats. 

Beyond the physical buildings, though, was the more important asset we acquired: the people. More than 4,500 new employees joined Clorox back in 1999. Tapping this significant pool of talent, we gave them opportunities and other reasons to stay. Watch the video to hear stories from some of the OGs of First Brands, who have now been with the combined companies for 30, 40 and even 50-plus years. 

Shortly after the deal closed, our then-CEO, Craig Sullivan, encouraged employees to get to know their new coworkers. “We’ve got a great new business to work on together,” he told them. Indeed, they did.