Unilever | HAPPY


Sales: $38.4 billion for household and personal products

Key personnel: Alan Jope, CEO; Graeme Pitkethly, Chief Financial Officer; Conny Braams, digital and commercial director; Reginaldo Ecclissato, Supply Chain Manager; Fernando Fernandez, President, Beauty and Wellness; Sanjiv Mehta, President, Unilever South Asia and President and CEO, Hindustan Unilever; Nitin Paranjpe, Director of Human Resources and Transformation and Chief Operating Officer; Richard Slater, R&D Director; Maria Varsellona, ​​Legal Director and Group Secretary

Main products: Beauty and personal care—Axe, Dove, Lifebuoy, Rexona, Sunsilk and Vaseline; Homecare—Cif, Comfort, Domestos, Omo, and Seventh Generation

New products: Beauty and Personal Care—Dove Care by Plants Deodorant, Dove Kids Care Bath Collection (Canada), 100% Naturally Derived Ax Fragrance, Lifebuoy Charcoal and Mint, Rexona Clinical Protection, Vaseline Derma Care; Paula’s choice (acquisition); Homecare—Cif Ecorefill, Comfort Ultimate Care, Lifebuoy BotaniTech

Comments: Business sales rose 4.5% last year to $62.1 billion. All three sectors – food, beauty and home care – posted gains. Like many other multinationals, Unilever is focused on capturing the biggest markets with its biggest brands. The United States, India and China, which accounted for 36% of revenue, all recorded strong and competitive growth in 2021. The United States recorded growth of nearly 4% after a year of record growth in 2020, while India and China recorded double-digit growth. , but against weaker comps. But sales fell 7.4% in Indonesia, Unilever’s sixth market.

Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever

E-commerce had another strong year, with record growth in 2020. In total, e-commerce activity increased by 44%, with growth coming from all major sub-channels: pure-play, omnichannel and business-to-business (eB2B). . In just five years, this channel has grown from 2% of revenue to 13% in 2021. Develop Unilever’s portfolio in the fastest growing areas of hygiene, skincare, beauty prestige, functional nutrition and plant-based foods is another strategic choice. It is also the one that made a significant contribution to performance in 2021. While organic growth is Unilever’s top priority, acquisitions also play an important role. Indeed, since 2017, 93% of M&A capital has gone either to prestige beauty, functional nutrition, or skincare and other areas of beauty and personal care. Last year, for example, Unilever acquired Paula’s Choice. When this brand is included in the results, sales of prestige beauty products exceed one billion euros.

By contrast, 98% of divestments by revenue relate to slower-growing food segments such as spreads and tea.

Although focused on prestige beauty, fabric care still accounts for 14% of sales, just ahead of skin cleansing and hair care (11% each). Sales of deodorants and skincare each accounted for 7% of sales, and home and hygiene, 5%.

Unilever has stepped up its investment in science and technology to enhance the quality and effectiveness of its products. The company insists that 95% of the sales tested were equal to or better than the main competing product, with 71% absolute winners.

Unilever is growing, but that hasn’t stopped the company from restructuring. In January, the company announced that it would cut about 1,500 management positions. On July 1, it unveiled a simpler, more category-centric organization that focuses on five business units: Beauty & Wellness, Personal Care, Home Care, Nutrition, and Ice Cream. In Happi’s focus areas, Fernando Fernandez leads beauty and wellness. He had been EVP-Latin America. Fabian Garcia is President, Personal Care, responsible for skin cleansing, deodorants and oral care. He had been President, North America. Finally, Peter ter Kulve will continue in his role as President of Home Care, responsible for fabric care, home and hygiene, as well as water and air. In other staff moves, Nitin Paranjpe assumed the new role of Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer, leading business transformation and leading the HR function. She had been chief operating officer.

Unilever global headquarters in London.

Reginaldo Ecclissato leads Unilever’s supply chain and business operations as Director of Business Operations. He had been director of supply chain.

For the first quarter of 2022, sales increased by 11.8%, helped by a 3.5% increase in the currency. Underlying sales growth was 7.3%, driven by an 8.3% price increase, offset by a 1% volume decline.

According to Jope, delivering another strong quarter of sales growth builds on the improved growth momentum Unilever achieved in 2021 and is underpinned by its increased focus on operational excellence as well as disciplined adherence to its chosen strategic priorities.

“We maintain strong investments in our flagship brands, growing our thirteen billion euros of brands by 8.8% in the quarter,” he noted. “Online sales now account for 14% of revenue after another quarter of strong double-digit growth. Our priority markets of the United States, India and China have all experienced competitive growth. We continue to transform our portfolio into high-growth spaces, with prestige beauty and functional nutrition again growing strongly. »

Dove recently added a new collection of Care by Plants vegan deodorants.

To continue to grow, Unilever invests in new ideas. The Uncovery is Unilever’s beauty incubator platform which has rolled out a range of independent beauty brands in the last year alone. These brands include Duck Lip Vibes, Ferver Skincare, For Every Type, Mojo Wellbeing, Natur-Alternatives, Skinsei and The Good Stuff. Almost all of them are digitally driven and focus on niche markets. For example, the Ferver Skincare range is built on fermented active ingredients.

New research ideas include finding ways to trigger the skin’s natural ceramide production processes.

“Our products contain skin-identical lipid precursors that act as building blocks for the natural process of ceramide production to occur,” said Dr Andrew Mayes, Senior Director of Skin Research, Unilever R&D. “They provide the raw materials and the skin can do the rest.”

New ideas are not limited to new product launches. Unilever is one of the biggest consumers of palm oil in the world. But palm oil, even responsibly sourced palm oil, can have devastating effects on the environment. To help remedy the situation, Unilever and Genomatica launched a venture last month to develop and commercialize an alternative to palm oil and fossil fuel-derived cleaning ingredients. With growing demand for sustainably sourced palm oil, this company aims to bring additional alternatives to responsibly sourced palm oil to the market.

With $120 million jointly invested in the newly formed initiative, and with other strategic investors expected to join, the company will develop an alternative plant-based ingredient using biotechnology. According to Unilever, the company has enormous potential to fuel its growth and strengthen its supply chains by creating cost-competitive alternatives and reducing its dependence on a small number of raw materials that can have high levels of volatility. . This is Unilever’s largest investment in biotech alternatives to palm oil to date.

“Unilever and Geno began collaborating in 2005 to accelerate the development of new ingredients to improve the efficacy of Unilever products,” said Richard Slater, Director of R&D at Unilever. “Our two companies share a mission to harness science and nature to accelerate the commercialization of sustainable materials that will have real impact and change. With this new venture, we will reinvent the chemistry of household and personal care products for the 21st century.

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