Unilever Drives Record 13% Sales Growth In 2012
The Unilever Thai Group of Companies, Thailand’s oldest and largest FMCG organization, recently announced record 2012 sales of over 40,000 million baht, up some 13 per cent over 2011.
Speaking to the press, Mr. Bauke Rouwers, Group Chairman, said he was particularly pleased that Unilever had been able to respond so effectively to the needs and aspirations of upwardly mobile Thai consumers during the year in which the Company celebrated the 80th anniversary of its operations in Thailand. “In line with Unilever’s global vision of doubling the size of our business, whilst reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our positive social impact, our operations in Thailand in 2012 grew market share by utilizing our category market development model combined with bigger and faster innovations, many of which are producing tangible sustainability benefits, said Mr. Rouwers.
While reporting strong growth in personal care, home care, food and ice cream categories, Mr. Rouwers noted that in 2012 Unilever also reaffirmed its long-term commitment to Thailand by opening a Baht 600 million regional R&D Centre and commissioning a Baht 2,600 million headquarters building which, when it opens in 2014, will set new standards for Bangkok with its “agile workplace and green building” concept. Expanding on this commitment, Mr. Rouwers announced that in 2013 Unilever will open a new Baht 800 million manufacturing facility for Home Care liquid products and commission a Baht 2,000 million warehouse to enhance its logistics efficiency.
Reporting on Personal Care category highlights, Ms Wannipa Bhakdibutra, Vice President, Health and Beauty Aids, highlighted the Sunsilk Post Wash success which resulted in sales increasing by 25% in 2012. Sunsilk activated programs to change consumers’ behavior to add Sunsilk hair conditioner to their hair care regime. The programs include strong promotions to close sales, experiential marketing and communication of superior hair conditioner benefits.
Khun Wannipa also reported on Unilever’s success in the male grooming category with Clear Men and Vaseline Men brands. Male grooming was identified as a big growth opportunity in Thailand with 70% of men still using female face products and the male grooming market reporting 17% growth compared to 11% growth for the overall personal care market. Various Marketing Development Model (MDM) strategies resulted in Clear Men’s market penetration growing from 7% in 2011 to 9.9% in 2012, while for Vaseline Men penetration increased from 3.3% to 3.8% during the same period, resulting in combined overall sales increasing by 25% in 2012.
Reviewing category highlights, Ms. Supattra Paopiamsup, Vice President, Home Care, Food and Ice Cream, said the category market development model which analyzes users, usage and new product benefits, combined with deep consumer insights, as key growth drivers, enabled Unilever to respond to Thai consumers in very meaningful ways. Knorr Jok, for example, has seen its penetration increase from 30 percent in 2010 to 35 per cent in 2012, lifting 2012 sales by 49 per cent over 2010. Knorr’s vision is that 60 percent of Thai children should eat a healthy breakfast by 2014, up from only 40 percent in 2012.
In the Ice Cream category Khun Supattra highlighted the huge of success of Wall’s Magnum. With enhanced product benefits with Belgian chocolate, and taking into account the low consumption of ice cream among adults, the Magnum launch targeted adult consumers and saw a 400 percent increase in sales, with peak-month sales equal to 2011’s full-year sales.
Looking at the Home Care category, superior product innovation and a conversion strategy to persuade consumers to change from regular detergent to concentrate, saw Breeze sales increase by 25 percent in 2012.