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Positive nutrition challenges

Our challenges for this topic are listed below. Please read all the information – if you feel your technical solution could help us meet one of our challenges, we’d love to hear from you.

Illustration of two people, the man cooking and the woman holding a shopping bag and eating an apple

Plant Protein & Beyond


People’s eating habits are changing

When choosing what foods and drinks to buy, most people consider taste as the first priority. But more and more consumers also want to know that the products they’re buying are nutritious and healthy, have limited environmental impact, and that people have been treated well when making the products.

The scientific basis for future diets that are healthy for both people and the planet was published in 2019 by the EAT-Lancet Commission. This marked a significant step forward in building global consensus and collaborative action around food system transformation. The report showed that increased consumption of plant-based diets could reduce emissions by up to 80%. And it concluded that dietary changes from current diets to more plant-based meals are likely to substantially benefit human health.

  • We believe in nutritious diets that include more variety, more seasonal foods, fruit and vegetables, legumes, wholegrains and healthy oils, less meat and more plant-based options.
  • We want to increase our portfolio of plant-based products, especially for people who want to eat less meat or no animal-based products at all.


We are looking for:

  • Vegan plant-based protein ingredients for usage in Ice Cream applications, that can fit within our current manufacturing processes with neutral taste and no negative textural attributes
  • Vegan, natural proteins and/or fibres that can support formation and shaping of dough by binding other ingredients before baking in meat analogue products
  • Vegan, natural proteins and/or fibres that can act as building blocks and give a texture similar to meat before baking in meat analogue products

Desired outcome:

  • Vegan status
  • More sustainable than from animal sources, now and in the future
  • Natural labelling
  • Available in dry form
  • Unilever is open to a range of collaboration types

What we aren’t interested in:

  • Animal testing
  • Genetically modified
  • E-numbers
  • Animal-based ingredients

To submit an application please click on the link below:

2021W1 Plant Protein and beyond

Positive Nutrition


Good nutrition matters

Many people realise that what they eat influences their health, their mood, and how much they can get done each day. In fact, there’s never been more interest among consumers in nutrition and health.

We’re empowering people to consume more nutritious foods and drinks. That’s why we’re looking for nutritional solutions to improve health & wellness and to enhance resilience.

Description & Key Features:

We are looking for

  • science-based solutions to deliver a holistic approach to immunity
  • science-based solutions to improve sleep, stress, and cognition for healthy individuals
  • affordable solutions to help children grow up healthy
  • solutions to improve iron intake
  • science-based solutions that measure and beneficially modulate gut microbiome function and composition for healthy individuals
  • science-based digital personalised solutions that will lead to sustained behaviour change and improved nutrition/wellness

Desired Outcome:

  • Robust scientific data to support efficacy and safety
  • Regulatory/legal/safety understanding
  • Unilever is open to a range of collaboration types

What we aren’t interested in:

  • Solutions that are not based on sound scientific evidence
  • Pharmacological solutions aimed at curing individuals

To submit an application please click on the link below:

2021W2 Positive Nutrition

Imagine the next generation of plant-based meat products


Unilever presented in end 2020 the ambition to reach a new annual global sales target of €1 billion from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, within the next five to seven years. The growth will be driven by the roll-out of The Vegetarian Butcher as well as increasing vegan alternatives from brands including Hellmann’s, Magnum and Wall’s. The Vegetarian Butcher aiming on his side to become the biggest Butcher in the world research, develops and manufactures the new meat of tomorrow. In this new era of meat, the Vegetarian Butcher is calling out to all pioneers and innovators to join us in this mission to deliver the best quality of meat while removing the animal from the Food chain.

In 2023 our plant-based sale target was updated to €1.5 billion of sales per annum by 2025 from plant-based products in categories whose products are traditionally using animal-derived ingredients.

Description & Key Features:

We are looking for the next generation of plant-based meat products and solutions. Example of areas of interest where we are seeking solutions include:

  • Novel product solution types
  • New ingredients or combination of ingredients types
  • New processing & manufacturing technology types
  • Any solutions that could help The Vegetarian Butcher to be more sustainable

Desired Outcome:

  • Shall be able to be tested/ tasted at the Vegetarian Butcher kitchen
  • Shall present an idea of scalability and implementation

What we don’t want to see

  • Obvious additions to current products and technologies

To submit an application please click on the link below:

2022W3 Positive Nutrition

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