Importance of Packaging in Unilever

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  • Topic: Unilever, Packaging, Packaging and labeling
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Unilever's Packaging Practices - Innovations and Insights

Case Details:Price:
Case Code:MKTG246For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300; For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges Themes
Marketing Mix

Case Length:17 Pages
Pub Date:2010
Teaching Note:Not Available
Organization:Unilever Group


Countries:UK, The Netherlands
The case examines how Anglo-Dutch retail giant Unilever Group used innovations in packaging to differentiate its products.

It explains how Unilever used packaging as a marketing tool to launch, relaunch, reposition and increase demand for its products and attract new customers.

Several instances where innovative packaging helped Unilever increase revenues of its products are discussed in the case. At the same time, Unilever tried to minimize the impact of its packaging on the environment by adopting recycled materials, introducing concentrated version of detergents and also by using fewer colors on its labels. Issues:

» Understand how packaging can help a company differentiate its products.

» Study how packaging can be used as a marketing tool.

» Examine how the adverse impact of packaging on the environment can be reduced. Contents:
Page No.
Background Note
Packaging at Unilever
Packaging as a Marketing Tool
Looking Ahead
Unilever Group, Packaging Innovation, Resource & Energy Optimization, 'Path to Growth' Strategy, Communication Tool, Packaging Design, Package Aesthetics, Visual Branding Group, Effective Design, Computer Aided Design, Sustainable Packaging, Unilever's Packaging Approach, Packaging for Launching New Products, Packaging for Increasing Demand for Products, Packaging for Launching Premium Products, Packaging for Repositioning Products, Environment Conservation "Packaging innovation is a tool that can be used to both reenergize existing brands and also to bring new brands to life. Packaging should be seen as an investment in a brand and not just a cost to business. In some cases, a packaging innovation can drive additional value for the brand by generating both lift in the market while actually costing less to produce."1 - Jay Gouliard, Vice-president Packaging, Unilever, in September 2007. "A product that we deliver today is a lot more than just the food material. It's the packaging. When we work on [our brands] to try to grow them and make them bigger and more global ... packaging is going to play a role in doing that."2 - Stephen Gaeta, Unilever Bestfoods, Director of Packaging, North America, in May 2004. Introduction

At the 21st DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation3 presented in May 2009, Anglo-Dutch multinational corporation Unilever Group's4 (Unilever) Bertolli Pasta Sauce Pouches won an award in the category of 'Enhanced Performance and Resource & Energy Optimization.' To store the sauce, Unilever had replaced the glass jars used earlier with stand-up pouches which used 70% less material.

On selecting Unilever for the award, DuPont said, "Now microwavable right in the pouch, this new packaging offers significant consumer benefit and ease of use versus jars and offers retail benefits through easier handling and equivalent shelf life. The benefits of transport efficiency are substantial. One truckload of unfilled pouches equals 25 truckloads of unfilled glass jars."5

With revenues of € 40.523 billion for the fiscal year ending December 2008, Unilever was one of the largest consumer product companies in the world. It had a presence in product categories like foods, beverages, and cleaning agents and these were sold in more than 150 countries across the world. Operating as it did in a highly competitive environment, Unilever realized that it was essential to differentiate its products.

With several products to choose from with similar qualities, packaging assumed...
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