16 March - 24 April 2020

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16 Mar 10:00 GMT / 06:00 EST

The Drum Digital Transformation Festival launch

Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

Unilever instigates strategic review of health and beauty brands to rekindle growth

Brands including Simple could face a sell off

Unilever has launched a year-long strategic review of its health and beauty brands as the consumer goods giant seeks to maximise the growth of its beauty arm.

The in-depth review will concentrate on poor performing brands in the group's portfolio. Analysts have suggested that ranges like Suave and Simple, which have languished in the shadow of blockbuster products such as Dermalogica and Axe (Lynx in the UK), could face the axe.

Unilever reported sales of £18.2bn last year accruing from its beauty and personal care brands such as Alberto Balsam and Vaseline, equivalent to 42% of the group’s total.

The beauty review, first reported by The Sunday Times, follows an earlier decision to potentially offload its tea business, including familiar names such as Lipton & PG Tips.

In a June 2019 interview with The Drum Unilever's chief exec Alan Jope said he would be ruthless in disposing of brands which "… don’t stand for something" to in order to place purpose at the hear of its business.

More recently this policy was evidenced by a decision to cease advertising food and beverage products to children under the age of 12.

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