Unilever entered the Kenyan Market in 1949, where it was registered as East African Industries (EAI). It later changed its name to Unilever in 2000, in line with its “One Unilever” strategic direction which aims at aligning all Unilever companies world-wide to think and act as one. Unilever has three main product categories; Foods- includes Blueband and Flora Margarine, Royco and Knorr. Fabric Cleaning- includes Omo, Sunlight and the 3rd and final category is Skin Care, which has the most products with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, Vaseline Cocoa Butter, Geisha, Lifebuoy and Lux. Most of these products are manufactured locally in the factory plant which is located in Nairobi’s industrial area. The manufactured products are then sold within the Kenyan Market as well as exported to other countries.
Unilever is one of the world’s fortune 500 companies, placed at number 121 world-wide. As such, it has the financial muscle to influence various countries economies. In this paper, we shall delve deeper into the positive and negative contributions that this company makes to Kenya’s economy.
Growth of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) and Gross National Product ( GNP) The Unilever Kenya plant manufactures popular products such as Blueband, Royco, Knorr, Omo, Sunlight, Geisha and Vaseline. These products are not only consumed locally but exported to other countries in the ESA region (Eastern and Southern Africa), namely Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. This improves the balance of trade by improving the ratio of exports to imports