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The Future Of Food – ESM Meets Unilever’s Hanneke Faber

A lot has happened since ESM last caught up with Hanneke Faber, president of Global Foods & Refreshment at Unilever, both on a global level and within the consumer goods giant. Stephen Wynne-Jones met her. This article first appeared in ESM May/June 2022.

While Unilever is never far from the headlines, the consumer goods giant has had a particularly busy start to 2022, with a major restructuring announcement, an aborted bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business, and full-year results that showed its fastest sales growth in close to a decade – talk about grasping the post-pandemic nettle!

Let’s start with the results announcement: Unilever reported underlying sales growth of 4.5% in 2021 – a 1.6% increase in volume terms and a 2.9% increase in price – which means that even as price rises were implemented to combat inflation, consumers kept purchasing its products.

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