Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is the world's largest producer of household and personal products by revenue, with its products reaching 4 billion people worldwide. including Tide detergent, Pampers diapers, and Gillette razors, that generate over $1 billion in revenue annually.
One of the key areas of growth for the company is in emerging markets worldwide. P&G already owns large and growing market share in countries including China and Russia. P&G has created products such as Downy Single Rinse, low-water volume detergent, and Naturella, a low-income feminine protection product, specifically for developing nations.  In light of the global economic downturn, P&G has announced it will focus its growth strategy on emerging markets, opening almost all of its 20 new manufacturing facilities outside its established markets. 
Proctor and Gamble looks to bring in new product ideas from outside the company. Connect + Develop has led to the development of 42% of new P&G products in recent years.   In February 2010, the company said it will launch a "flurry" of new products globally, using innovation to boost sales in fiscal 2010 coming out of the global recession.
With $79 billion in sales across the world in fiscal 2010 and 24 brands with $1 billion of sales each, P&G is a global giant for household and personal goods. P&G divides its business into three Global Business Units (GBUs) that develop and produce products and its Corporate group which handles the operation and administration of the company.
Household staples are somewhat protected from the US recession and global economic downturn. However, in a recession consumers often turn to cheaper private label or store brands instead of "brand name" products from P&G. To combat private label encroachment, P&G offers at least two product forms in many product categories. For example, the company has seen increases sales in Luvs from Pampers diapers and an increase in Gain detergent sales from Tide. In addition, P&G offers "Basic" versions of its Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels. The company's broad offerings, combined with the necessity of household items, provide a degree of insulation against recession.
The rise of a handful of powerful low-priced retailers has negatively impacted consumer products companies. A handful of big retailers have captured a large share of the market. These large retailers have shifted the balance of power within the supply chain. For example, the company's largest customer, Wal-Mart, accounts for roughly 15% of net sales.  Wal-Mart has exerted its power over other suppliers to their detriment in the past, such as forcing record companies to produce clean-label CDs and pulling adult magazines. A decision by Wal-Mart not to sell a particular P&G consumer product would prevent P&G from reaching its entire target market. In addition, many retailers have pushed their own higher margin private label brands in competition with P&G.
In the past decade, P&G has faced stiff competition from private label brands or "store brands" of large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and supermarket chains. Private label products often sell at lower price points and earn higher margins because the retailers can control the cost of their production. For example, Wal-Mart offers 5,500 products through its "Great Value" brand, which has increasingly sold as consumers feel the recession squeeze on their disposable income. Large retailers are close to the consumers, have the point of sale data on consumer behavior and are in better position to understand consumer behavior. These strengths contribute to better private label product development, which directly compete with P&G products. Retailers also promote their own brands as they earn higher margins on them. P&G has addressed this issue by continuously investing in Research & Development and introducing new products as well as offering different versions of its own products at different price points. 
Procter & Gamble provides the broadest and biggest portfolio of products in the household and personal care industry with 24 billion-dollar brands. P&G generates approximately one and half times the revenue than its closest competitor, Unilever (UL), and possesses a higher operating margin (20.30%) than any of its competitors as well. The company invests about $2 billion a year in R&D, nearly twice that of Unilever, and equal to the combined total of its other major competitors — Avon, Clorox Company (CLX), Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL), Energizer Holdings (ENR), Henkel (HEN-FF), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), L'Oreal, and Reckitt Benckiser.
Clorox is one of P&G's main competitors, specifically the two companies compete directly in the household products market, especially in household cleaning products. Clorox is known for their trademark Clorox bleach products and other cleaning supplies like Pine-Sol. Although much of the two companies' product catalogs overlap, there are significant differences that prevent Clorox from being in complete, direct competition with P&G. For example, one of the largest sectors of P&G's business is beauty products, which are not part of Clorox's product offerings.
Kimberly-Clark competes with P&G in the household products market, particularly in tissues, paper towels, diapers, and feminine products. Major K-C brands include Huggies diapers, Kotex feminine products, Scott paper towels and Kleenex tissues. Kimberly Clark sells its products to both consumers and large businesses.
Colgate-Palmolive produces a product catalog that most overlaps with P&G's product lineup relative to other competitors. Colgate is best known for its flagship toothpaste, which had a 44.4% global market share in 2009, but the company also manufactures toothbrushes, dental floss, detergents, soap, and pet care products.
L'Oreal competes with P&G in the beauty products market. L'Oreal's two biggest product categories are skincare and haircare products. Unlike diversified companies like P&G, L'Oreal is purely a beauty and cosmetics company with its product catalog centered around skincare, haircare, make-up, perfume and other beauty products. However, the beauty industry has much higher margins than certain markets that P&G is involved in, which leads to high profits for L'Oreal.