Unilever's purpose-led brands outperform

London, Rotterdam - Unilever today announced that its purpose-led, Sustainable Living Brands are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivering 75% of the company’s growth.

selection of brands

The figures, which were revealed by Unilever CEO Alan Jope at the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference in Paris, demonstrate that:

  • In 2018, Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands grew 69% faster than the rest of the business, compared to 46% in 2017;
  • Unilever now has 28 Sustainable Living Brands – the four new entrants are Close Up (toothpaste), Wheel (laundry), Calve and Bango (dressings);
  • Seven of Unilever’s top ten brands – Dove, Knorr, Omo/Persil, Rexona/Sure, Lipton, Hellmann’s and Wall’s ice cream – are all Sustainable Living Brands.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands are those that communicate a strong environmental or social purpose, with products that contribute to achieving the company’s ambition of halving its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact. While all of Unilever's brands are on a journey towards sustainability, our Sustainable Living Brands are those that are furthest ahead.

Addressing the Deutsche Bank conference, Unilever CEO, Alan Jope, said: “Two-thirds of consumers around the world say they choose brands because of their stand on social issues, and over 90% of millennials say they would switch brands for one which champions a cause.”

“We believe the evidence is clear and compelling that brands with purpose grow. Purpose creates relevance for a brand, it drives talkability, builds penetration and reduces price elasticity. In fact, we believe this so strongly that we are prepared to commit that in the future, every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose.”

Jope added: “The fantastic work done by brands such as Dove, Vaseline, Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s and Brooke Bond shows the huge impact that brands can have in addressing an environmental or social issue. But talking is not enough, it is critical that brands take action and demonstrate their commitment to making a difference.”

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Brands include Dove, which has helped over 35 million young people around the world with self-esteem education since 2005; Lifebuoy, which has reached one billion people with its handwashing campaigns; Vaseline, which has reached 3 million people living on the frontline of poverty and disaster with skin healing programmes; Ben & Jerry’s, which campaigns for social justice and climate change, and Rin whose Career Academy works with women across rural India, through mentoring and careers fairs.

Unilever PLC

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Where relevant, these actions are subject to the appropriate consultations and approvals.

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever Group (the 'Group'). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; the effect of climate change on Unilever's business; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2018 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2018.

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