On any given day, 2 billion people use Unilever products and in each market where we operate, the emphasis is on selling our core brands to mainstream consumers. But trends in globalisation, migration and travel, and the exponential rise in e-commerce, are creating unexplored opportunities. We established Unilever International to cater to these new, underserved geographies, consumers, customers and channels.
From islands to oil rigs
The team reaches consumers in remote and challenging countries like Mongolia as well as exotic locations such as the Pacific Islands and Maldives. It caters for religious shoppers who want to purchase Halal or Kosher brands. It also supplies institutional customers such as military contractors and prisons, non-governmental organisations like Oxfam and UNICEF, and specialist markets including offshore mining and oil rig suppliers.
Travellers, surfers and expats
With over a billion people travelling internationally each year, Unilever International is extending the footprint of brands like Toni & Guy, Lakme and Nexxus in airport and duty-free border stores. Travellers can also get Rexona and Dove deodorants while flying with Qantas and Delta airlines. And with 1.3 billion people projected to do their shopping online in the coming years, the team seeds core brands on e-commerce websites to leverage this fast-growing channel.
Then, of course, there are the 250 million expatriates who crave the brands they grew up with and that remind them of home. In the UAE, for example, where expats make up over 70% of the population, the team has developed a portfolio of South Asian and Western products.
Championing responsible growth
In line with our Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever International champions responsible growth by partnering aid agencies to deliver relief in disaster and emergency situations, reducing business waste in its value chain and carrying out activities through brands.
For example, it launched Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach 5’ campaign in East Timor, reaching out to the country’s at-risk community and garnering widespread media coverage across the national papers and radio stations, further amplifying the reach of this important campaign.