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Unilever

From Academic Kids

Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch company which owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Unilever employs more than 247,000 people and had a worldwide turnover of €48 760 million in 2002. Unilever has two parent companies: Unilever NV in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Unilever PLC in London, United Kingdom. This arrangement is similar to that of Royal Dutch/Shell. Both Unilever companies have the same directors and effectively operate as a single business. The current non-executive Chairman of Unilever N.V. and PLC is Antony Burgmans while Patrick Cescau is Group Chief Executive. Unilever's major competitors include Nestlé and Procter & Gamble.

Contents

History

Unilever was created in 1930 by the merger of British soapmaker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie, a logical merger as palm oil was a major raw material for both margarines and soaps and could be imported more advantageously in larger quantities. In the 1930s, the business of Unilever grew and new ventures were launched in Latin America. By 1980, soap and edible fats contributed just 40% of profits, compared with an original 90%. In 1984 the company bought the brands Brooke Bond (maker of PG Tips tea), Faberge and Elizabeth Arden, but the latter was later sold (in 2000) to FFI Fragrances. Unilever acquired Chesebrough-Ponds, the maker of Vaseline, in 1987, which strengthened its position in the world skin care market. The company later absorbed the American business Bestfoods, strengthening its presence in North America and extending its portfolio of foods brands. Today the company is fully multinational with operating companies and factories on every continent and research laboratories at Colworth and Port Sunlight in the United Kingdom; Vlaardingen in the Netherlands; Edgewater, New Jersey in the United States; Bangalore in India; and China.

Brands

After some recent pruning, Unilever now has a portfolio of about 400 brands, many of them local that can only be found in certain countries. The brands fall almost entirely in two categories as set out below.

Food and beverage brands

Ades, Becel, Ben and Jerry's, Best Foods, Bertolli, Birds Eye, Blue Band, Boursin cheese, Brooke Bond, Calvé, Colman's, Findus, Flora, Hellmann's, Iglo, Imperial, Knorr, Lawry's and Adolph's, Lipton, Marmite, PG Tips, Pot Noodle, Ragu, Skippy peanut butter, Slim Fast, Unox, Good Humor-Breyers, Nogger Black.

Heartbrand

Unilever operate a number of ice-cream companies refered to as the "Heartbrand", since in general the only branding they have in common is a heart-shaped logo. They generally manufacture the same ice-cream with the same names, with rare occasions of regional availability, under different brands. Some of these ice-creams include: Magnum and Solero. A list of some of these brands is shown below:

Home and personal care brands

Axe, Cif, Comfort, Domestos, Dove, Hindustan Lever Limited, Impulse, Omo, Rexona, Lux, Persil (UK), Pond's Creams, Rinso, Signal, Suave, Surf, Valentino perfumes, Vaseline, Lynx. Aviance, Ayush, Denim, Lifebuoy

See also

External links

nl:Unilever pt:Unilever

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