Unilever United States: Adding Vitality to Life with the Orthodox Union

OU Kosher Staff

Univeler’s corporate mission—to add vitality to life—responds to 21ST century consumers. But the spirit of this mission has infused our entire history, starting in the late 19TH century.

In the 1890s,William Heskith Lever, founder of Lever Bros, conceived the idea for Sunlight Soap—a revolutionary new product that helped popularize cleanliness and hygiene in Victorian England. Its purpose was “to make cleanliness commonplace; to lessen work for women; to foster health and contribute to personal attractiveness, that life may be more enjoyable and rewarding for the people who use our products.”

Decades before the phrase “Corporate Mission” became popular, these ideas became the heart of our business — a promise that endures. Lever’s language — and the notion of only women doing housework — have become outdated. But, at Unilever, his promise to help people get more out of life endures.

Through three centuries, Unilever’s success has been influenced by the major events of the day—economic booms, depressions, world wars, changing consumer lifestyles and advances in technology, to name a few.Throughout, Unilever has created products that respond to the times—products that improve nutrition, provide enjoyment and cut the time people spend on household chores and taking care of their homes, clothes and themselves.

Unilever is the biggest company many do not know, but everyone knows our brands. Each day, around the world, consumers make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, “all,” Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Knorr, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave and Vaseline.

As one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, Unilever recognizes that consumers are inviting us into their homes and into their lives when they choose our brands. It’s a privilege we do not take lightly.

People’s lives are changing fast. Unilever keeps up with the pace of change by continuously developing new products, improving our brands and promoting better, more efficient ways of working.We draw on our key strengths: strong roots in local markets and firsthand knowledge of the local culture.

Unilever and the Hellmann’s brand are proud to be associated with the world’s most recognized kosher symbol. The Hellmann’s brand and the Orthodox Union have a long-standing relationship that dates back to its earlier days with Best Foods, which acquired the business from the Hellmann family in 1932.

In today’s marketplace, the OU symbol is recognized by kosher observant and non-kosher consumers alike. The OU symbol is not only a confirmation of meeting the requirements of religious dietary restrictions but also indicates the product is high quality. As stated, Unilever’s mission is to “add vitality to life” and the OU symbol helps Unilever deliver the brand promise to its customers and consumers — a promise for today and tomorrow.

Our work in diversity is not a program or an initiative, but rather a strategic asset that provides value across our business. Our diverse employee base and their backgrounds help to generate new and creative ideas — enabling us as a company to better understand the hearts and minds of our diverse consumer base. Most recently, Unilever’s North American Foods business ranked in DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity 2005” list. A total of 203 companies competed in the survey, which is based on 230 detailed questions analyzing human capital, CEO commitment, corporate communications and supplier diversity.

In addition to Hellmann’s, other Unilever OU certified brands include Best Foods, Bertolli, Brummel & Brown, Country Crock, Filberts, Imperial, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Lipton Tea, Promise, Shedd’s Spread, Skippy, Slimfast and Wish-Bone. Hellmann’s, Best Foods, Lipton, Skippy and Slimfast are also sold internationally bearing the OU symbol. More than ever, our brands are helping people feel good, look good, and get more out of life — just as Lord William Lever had envisioned more than 100 years