Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is in the mood for a little product development (actually, when is the company not in the mood for that?). It seems as if the executives there are remembering the historical day when the eureka moment hit the candy scientists, causing peanut butter and chocolate to be put together in a classic cup that is distributed today by Hershey (NYSE:HSY).

According to an item out from Reuters, P&G will take its famous Tide brand of detergent and infuse it with a bit of Downy fabric softener. I have to make a confession right here and now: I've never done a load of laundry in my life, so all of this is a bit alien to me, but I guess what it boils down to is you get to skip a step. The Reuters piece mentions the combination of Crest and Scope mouthwash as a similar device -- now, that's a product I understand and have indeed used before.

New designs on old products are what keeps things going; the resting-on-laurels approach never cut it and will especially not cut it in these fast-paced days of brand and inventory evolution. When competitors such as Clorox (NYSE:CLX) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) are constantly out to steal market share, the best hope of defending that share is through brand innovation (and marketing, of course). Gillette (NYSE:G) always upgrades its razor line in an attempt to keep ahead of Energizer Holdings (NYSE:ENR) and its own shaving system.

Investors in businesses that are oriented in the consumer sector love it when their company throws a bit of brand alchemy into the product line, as it tends to excite the sales. PepsiCo's (NYSE:PEP) Frito-Lay unit has done it, an example being the consolidation of several snacks from the product list into a single party mix. P&G has shown over the years that it is adequately adept at serving its investors by managing its equity and product lines in a tendency that leans toward increases in shareholder value. Let's look at some evidence for this point.

First, a long-term chart is requisite. Past performance is never a guarantee of future results, but still, it is a useful bit of information. You'll see some volatility in that chart, but P&G unquestionably has proved to be a resilient blue chip over the years. Second, the quality of the dividend: Excellent, in my opinion. Take a look at a survey of the dividend increases over the years. Third, Investor's Business Daily rates P&G an A for the company's performance on revenues, margins, and ROE.

P&G could be one of the foundations of any individual investor's program. Solid, dependable large caps with valuable brand portfolios are oftentimes winners over multitudes of years. To continue an exploration of this sector, check out the following articles:

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.