Unilever acquires Seventh Generation

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever acquires Seventh Generation

Related tags Unilever Sustainability Henkel

The multinational CPG company announced yesterday that it has signed a deal to purchase the plant-based personal care and household cleaners company known as Seventh Generation—thereby shoring up its position in the naturals market.

Seventh Generation, based in Vermont, was a company ahead of the curve on natural (scalable) home and personal care products. The company got its start nearly 30 years ago, and was founded on the Iroquois principle that before making any decision, the best interests of the next seven generations should be taken in to consideration.

“For 28 years, Seventh Generation has been creating products that are not only effective but also designed with environmental and human health in mind while demonstrating that business can have a greater purpose, serving not just profit but people and the planet as well,”​ John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, says in a press release announcing the deal.

The terms of the Unilever acquisition have not yet been released and are, of course, subject to conventional approvals. Nonetheless Replogle says the acquisition by Unilever “marks the next chapter and we’re proud to join Unilever and its shared vision for purpose-led business on a global scale.”

“Working together we are confident we can have a positive impact on the health of billions of people around the world, truly fulfilling our mission of nurturing the next seven generations while transforming global commerce,” ​he adds.

Buying into sustainability

As part of Unilever, Seventh Generation products, like the company’s portfolio of liquid hand soaps, will have a wider distribution. And the brand will better Unilever’s position in the CSR and naturals games.

Some industry commentators are even speculating that this deal means Unilever will not opt to acquire Honest Co., the beauty and personal care company founded by Jessica Alba. The two have reportedly been in talks recently. But it’s not clear when or if Unilever will stop buying up smaller sustainable brands.   

Explaining the company’s choice to move on the Seventh Generation deal, Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever’s home care business tells the press, “Seventh Generation has long been a disruptor in the US marketplace, leading the industry in sustainable innovation while attracting new generations of conscious consumers. This addition to Unilever’s product portfolio will help us meet rising demand for high-quality products with a purpose.”

“Adding Seventh Generation to Unilever’s portfolio of purpose-driven brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Dove demonstrates our continued commitment to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan,” ​affirms Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, in the company press release about yesterday’s acquisition announcement.

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