Unilever's Packaging Practices - Innovations and Insights

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG246
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1998-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Unilever Group
Industry : FMCG
Countries : UK, The Netherlands

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"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.


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.'

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1] Jay Gouliard, "Face to Face with the Consumer," www.packaging-gateway.com, September 21, 2007.
2] Pan Demetrakakes, "Enhanced Brand Packaging helps Unilever's Leverage: Packaging Lets Unilever Bestfoods North America Introduce New Products and Line Extensions, and Make the Most of its Flagship Brands," Food & Drug Packaging, May 2004.
3] The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation recognize materials, processing, technology, and service achievements that demonstrate progress toward sustainability while also meeting important market requirements for enhanced performance such as improved freshness, convenience, and shelf appeal. The winners are judged considering seven criteria - lean production, effective recovery, community/social benefit, enhanced performance, cost effective economics, responsible sourcing, and resource and energy optimization.
4] The Netherlands-based Unilever NV and the UK-based Unilever PLC and their group companies operate as a single economic entity, namely, the Unilever Group.

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