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A Look Inside Unilever’s Hive and the Company’s Ambitious Plant-Based Innovations

Unilever is preparing for a restructuring that will result in its nutrition brands being a stand-alone unit as part of its focus on strategic categories: plant-based and positive nutrition products.

Under its Future Foods strategy launched in 2020, the company intends to double the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025, and hit EUR1 billion in plant-based sales by 2025-2027. Other targets include sourcing ingredients made through regenerative ag, and reaching net-zero emissions by 2039.

But sustainability is not enough - the consumer has to want to buy in, and return.

Unilever stated that it understands that consumption rates of animal proteins need a “re-set” if the world’s population is to be fed within global boundaries. To accomplish this, the company’s teams are approaching the challenges associated with this goal from different angles - by unlocking the power of biotechnology through sun-based proteins, upcycled proteins, microbial single-cell proteins, fungi, and bacteria, precision fermentation, and cellular agriculture, or lab-produced meats.

But these products will not succeed without good taste and nutrition, which are being advanced through Unilever’s work to improve texture, shelf life, stability, taste, and nutrition in ways that can be scaled to commercial production.

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