In 2009 Unilever and the World Heart Federation launched Heart Age, a simple online tool to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease. The tool proved an excellent mechanism for making heart health personally relevant.
Until 2011 our Flora/Becel spread brands provided the foundation for raising awareness of Heart Age but recognised that, by themselves, they could not drive enough people to the tool. By 2011, the online Heart Age tool was available in 27 countries. In 2011 we recognised that these brands would no longer be the sole sponsors of the Heart Age tool, and that Unilever would look to work with a broader set of external partners with a common heart health goal to maximise the tool’s potential.
Partnering to improve heart heath
During 2012, Unilever joined forces with Microsoft to launch the Heart Age application on the new Windows 8 platform. This gives us the potential to reach a significant number of people as the platform grows, to co-promote the tool and to explore opportunities through Microsoft’s emerging health platform. The app is available for people to use on computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Following the launch, we are further expanding the reach of Heart Age via a wide consortium of partners interested in heart health, in addition to continued support from our Flora/Becel pro.activ brands and Microsoft.
The partnership with Microsoft emerges from our subsequent commitment to work with a broader set of external partners with a common heart health goal to maximise the tool’s potential. We are looking to identify other like-minded partners going forward.
The new app complements our brands’ ongoing efforts to promote heart health. Our Becel/Flora products help people take simple steps to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and our partnerships with local heart charities remain a key element of our approach.
Our heart health campaigns
Our partnerships with local heart charities are a key element of our approach to increasing awareness of the role a healthy diet and lifestyle can play in helping to maintain heart health.
In 2011, our Flora/Becel pro•activ brand worked with local heart charities in Canada and the Netherlands to raise awareness of heart health issues with women. In 2012, we expanded the Red Dress campaign into other markets. This involved a series of events with retailers, media and healthcare professionals.
In South Africa, we work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to raise awareness of heart health and the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle through our Flora ‘Test the Nation’ campaign. In 2010-2011, we tested the cholesterol levels of over 36,000 people across the country.
In the UK and Ireland, Flora has worked with cholesterol charity, HEART UK on a range of initiatives. Flora pro•activ and HEART UK have teamed up with the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society (PCCS) to create ActivHeart – a behavioural change programme for health professionals to encourage patients to improve their heart health through making small changes in their diet and lifestyle.
How can we promote health and nutrition to children?
Healthy eating habits and active lifestyles need to start as early as possible in life. A balanced diet and lifestyle can help children to reach their full potential. The effects of poor nutrition at a young age can have lifelong implications.
Here are some examples of nutrition and health education programmes designed for children.
Unilever Food Solutions is successfully running school programmes in the UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Thailand, Poland and the Philippines. The programme combines best practice kitchen and menu management with nutritionally improved recipes for children. This provides operators with efficiency gains and inspiration for a varied, nutritious and tastier meal – attracting more children to the school canteen – while delivering clear incremental growth to Unilever.
A Perfect Fit is a partnership between Unilever Israel, the Israeli Ministries of Health and Education and various paediatric, dietetic and education associations to foster healthy eating habits for life. This educational programme celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2011.
A Perfect Fit has been implemented in 1,500 primary schools and 2,500 kindergartens. Involving teachers, students and nutrition experts, the partnership promotes the benefits of a healthy breakfast and a healthy lifestyle. The effects have been validated by three scientific researchers. For example, the number of children having breakfast increased from 68% to 77% in a couple of years. This educational programme is now in its twelfth year. More information is available in Hebrew at www.tafuralay.co.il(Link opens in a new window)
Targets & Performance