Unilever’s promise to slash plastic use will appeal to 55% of millennials worldwide, says GlobalData

Following the news that Unilever plans to cut plastic use to appeal to younger shoppers;

Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Unilever’s decision to cut its plastic production may seem like a contrived attempt to connect with a younger generation. However, it is a necessary move for a brand trying to maintain its relevance and reputation.

“According to GlobalData’s Q4 2018 consumer survey, 55% of millennials and 45% of Gen Z worldwide are always or often influenced by how environmentally friendly a product is – the strongest response across all age groups. It is clear that ethical and sustainable practices in the supply chain will continue to grow in importance, particularly as the youths that champion these issues enter the workforce and become the next generation of business leaders. Greta Thunberg is an excellent example, with her voice reaching across continents and bringing visibility to the issue of sustainability like never before.

“The company’s CEO, Alan Jope, retains a fairly balanced stance on this issue, arguing that ‘a hysterical move to glass may be trendy but it would have a dreadful impact on the carbon footprint of packaging’. Rather, Jope has called for improved recycling infrastructure across UK councils, to improve the process and standardise labelling which will make it “easier for people to segment their waste.

“Unilever is just one of many companies to pledge a reduction in its plastic use, aligning the brand’s ethos to the sustainability narrative that is trending among younger consumers. The company currently produces 700,000 tonnes of new plastic a year and has pledged to reduce this number over the next five years by using more recycled plastic and sourcing alternative materials.”

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