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Unilever reducing package waste, adding consumer, business benefits

The consumer products giant is building quantifiable eco-friendly benefits into its package designs. The results also are measurable at the shelf and on the bottom line.

Many consumer packaged goods companies are making a concerted effort to reduce package waste through better design, and Unilever is one of them. The effect of better design also is increasing shelf visibility for some of the consumer product giant’s brands.

For example, Unilever’s Pepsodent Smart Clean toothbrushes have received a boost in the small, crowded markets of Asia with a hanger-type package. The design enables merchants to track stock easily and also reduces costs by cutting waste on primary and secondary packaging.

The new package also has benefits for Unilever. The company can now produce the brushes at a price that attracts new users.

Another Unilever brand, Rexona, benefits the environment with more streamlined and energy efficient molding, assembly, and packaging processes. This package, which has been discussed at Shelf Impact!’s Package Design Workshops, reduces package weight by 8%, uses 1,000 fewer tons of plastic per year, and cuts cap-making time by 34% and bottle-making time by 8%, compared with the previous package.

Unilever translates all these consumer, supply chain, and environmental benefits into plusses for its own bottom line. How? The company lets new package designs pull themselves into the market through quantifiable cost savings and consumer benefits, instead of the marketing department pushing a design that fails to link anticipated benefits to the overall business strategy. Find out how Unilever accomplished this with a package redesign for its Suave brand, and the resulting consumer reaction at shelf.

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