Unilever: the multinational’s personal care performance 2019 so far

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever: the multinational’s personal care performance 2019 so far
From pioneering new pigments for recycling packaging, to more major acquisitions in its sights, to commitments on gender equality and ingredients transparency, we take a look at what Unilever has been up to so far this year.

Where has the multinational got to?

Unilever has lately been outperforming the industry, fuelled by its series of acquisitions of trendy and premium brands.

These acquisitions have allowed the company to diversify its portfolio and strengthen key categories such as skin care, according to market research firm Euromonitor International.

Unilever has also expanded its global footprint, thereby offsetting risks from price competition in emerging markets.

New FMCG expert to lead beauty

Earlier this year, Unilever announced that it has poached Amazon’s FMCG boss to lead its beauty division​​: Sunny Jain.

“Over the past six years at Amazon, he has run the Core Consumables unit where he was responsible for brands selling their wares within the health and personal care, beauty and grooming, luxury beauty, grocery/food, baby and private label categories as well as its pharmacy subsidiary,” explains the Drum.

“Unilever is seeing rapid growth from e-commerce. According to its latest figures, e-commerce is now responsible for 5% of the business and growing at 50%.”

It looks like Unilever is keen to keep up with the power of data insights in beauty that Amazon has been leading on. Find our full report on that here​.

Going further: ingredients transparency

The multinational consumer goods player has announced that it successfully delivered on its ‘industry leading’ commitment to voluntarily disclose fragrance ingredients​​ across its home care and beauty & personal care products in Europe and the US by the end of 2018.

“Consumers across Europe and the US can now view fragrance ingredient information for over 3,000 home care and beauty & personal care products including popular household brands such as Dove, Axe, Comfort and OMO,” explains Unilever. Read our full report here​.

unilever lbp

Pioneering plastic recycling solution

Unilever has pioneered the use of a new detectable black pigment for its High Density Polyethelyne (HDPE) bottles for its leading brands, TRESemmé and Lynx, so they can be detected by recycling plant scanners and sorted for recycling.

This means that around a further 2,500 tonnes of plastic bottles could now potentially be sorted and sent for recycling each year – equivalent to the weight of 200 London buses, or 1,250 family-sized cars.

The new detectable bottles will be phased in during 2019 and will allow Unilever to further ‘close the loop’ and include the recycled black plastic back in new packaging.

Big potential acquisition in sight

The Telegraph recently reported a potential acquisition is on the cards for Unilever, which would continue its big push on acquisitions in the past couple of years​.

The UK newspaper suggests Unilever  is considering a $1bn bid for American skin care sensation Drunk Elephant. Read more at The Telegraph​.

Gender commitment

Unilever has become the latest firm to commit to gender parity at the highest levels of its business this year.

In a public pledge by chief executive Alan Jope to change its ratio before the year is out.

“Signed, sealed and soon delivered: I commit to accelerate gender parity at @Unilever. With @Lead_eu_net I pledge to deliver our goal of 50% women at manager level and significantly increase female representation at the top levels before 2020,” Jope tweeted in May.

“Working with the Lead Network, an umbrella organisation encouraging business across the retail and consumer goods sector to make full use of the available talent pool, Unilever will advance more women to positions of seniority,” explains The Drum​.

“This work sits in tandem with the group's Sustainable Living Plan which seeks to position the company as a leader in a terms of reducing its carbon footprint, with the aim of halving its environmental impact across the full lifecycle of its products by 2030.”

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