Unilever sets $1.6 billion alternative food target
Unilever has announced a new annual global sales target of €1 billion (AU$1.6 billion) from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives within the next five to seven years.
The growth will be driven by increasing vegan alternatives from brands including Magnum, Streets, Continental and Hellmann’s.
The target is part of Unilever’s ‘Future Foods’ global launch.
The ambition has two key objectives — to help people transition towards healthier diets and to help reduce the environmental impact of the global food chain.
Unilever has also committed to half its food waste in its direct global operations from factory to shelf by 2025 — five years earlier than previously committed, as part of the Champions 12.3 coalition target.
Another initiative in the Future Foods plan is to double the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025 — defined as products containing impactful amounts of vegetables, fruits, proteins or micronutrients like vitamins, zinc, iron and iodine.
The company will also lower calorie, salt and sugar levels across products with 85% of Unilever’s global Foods portfolio produced to help consumers reduce their salt intake to no more than 5 g per day by 2022.
In addition, 95% of Unilever’s packaged ice cream will not contain more than 22 g of total sugar, and 250 Kcal per serving, by 2025.
Yezdi Daruwalla, Managing Director, Unilever Food Solutions Australia and New Zealand, said: “The rise of plant-based diets has shifted Australia’s foodservice industry in recent years. In fact, about 12% of Australians — that’s nearly 2.5 million people — were on mostly vegetarian diets in 2019. As Australian food habits change, it has been critical for the foodservice industry to adapt its offerings and cater to a wide range of nutritious options for all diets.
“Our global commitment to achieve €1billion sales of plant-based meat and dairy products in the next 5–7 years will be a big driver for Unilever Food Solutions to continue supporting Australia’s foodservice industry with a range of plant-based options. In Australia and New Zealand, we’re already supporting chefs to cook more plant-based meals using our range of vegan-certified products, like our recently launched Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise and our Knorr Intense Flavours Range, and we hope to expand this over the next few years.”
The ‘Future Foods’ ambition also supports Unilever’s global commitments to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023, invest €1 billion in a new Climate & Nature Fund and achieve net-zero emissions for all products by 2039. The company has also pledged to ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
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