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Consumer goods giant Unilever reported that its sales have dwindled after consumers started to turn onto healthier products.
The producer of the popular ice cream products Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s cited the competition against small healthy food brands as one of the reasons for the decrease in sales. In fact, Magnum’s sales are losing against a low-sugar and low-calorie ice cream made by Halo Top Creamery, an ice cream company that was founded only in 2011.
In order to regain profitability, Unilever had to limit its expenses and raise the prices of its products. However, according to Charlie Huggins, a fund manager at a financial services company, this strategy is not enough to recoup Unilever’s sales. In addition, he suggests that the company should adapt to the changes in trend to maintain and improve its sales.
Unilever has started doing so by buying brands that use organic materials in making their products. Such brands include Pukka Herbs tea, Weis ice cream, and Carver makeup.
To boost sales, Unilever’s senior regional brand development manager Anser Aly said that the company needed to shift from being brand-centric to being consumer-centric. Being brand-centric means making products based on the company’s standards and reputation. On the other hand, being consumer-centric means making products based on the needs and wants of the consumers.
To be a consumer-centric company, Unilever resorted to social media and technology. It created its own applications and search engines that enable the company to track the products that consumers usually search. From these data, Unilever is able to parallel their products to the actual needs and wants of its consumers.