Unilever SWOT Analysis [Update 2022] ❤️

Unilever SWOT Analysis 2022

Unilever SWOT Analysis: Unilever operates in more than 180 countries across the globe and has always been a symbol of quality and excellence throughout the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector. 

Its competitive advantage from its global presence and its history of improving value for people around the world. In spite of the downturn context, it has been able to expand at a decent growth rate.

However, as we’ll examine later, Unilever cannot afford to ignore the threats that are emerging from an array of local, regional, and global-local competitors. 

As the following SWOT Analysis will show the fight for emerging markets could become a no holds barred competition win that will ensue between global giants like Unilever as well as Proctor and Gamble and a variety of local players.

Company Profile

Full Name:     Unilever PLC
Year Founded:   1929
Industry:      Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
Products & Services: Food, Beauty & Personal Health, Cleaning
Biggest Competitors: Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, Johnson & Johnson
Headquarters:       London, England
Number of employees:     155.000+ (2020)
Revenues:       €51 billion (2020)
Net Income:      6 billion (2020)
Price/Earnings ratio:   21 (2021)

Strengths Of Unilever In SWOT Analysis

❤️ One of the biggest worldwide companies: Unilever is available across more than 180 countries, and it’s possible to locate anyone who hasn’t purchased some of their goods. Furthermore, it’s also among the biggest corporations to date. All of this experience allows it to maintain its market share (Unilever 2020).

❤️ more than 400 brand names: The company’s distinctiveness is because of its vastly diverse range of products and brands in a myriad of markets. Its top brands contributed over EUR1 billion in revenue at the time of the year 2016. More than half of the growth was driven via Dove, Knorr, and Lifebuoy Brands which strive to reduce the environmental and social impact of their products.

❤️ A solid financial record and intelligent strategies: In 2019, the company’s revenue exceeded EUR52 billion. Around EUR22 billion was made through personal care and beauty brands, and more than EUR19 billion was derived from beverages and food items (Unilever 2020). Shahbandeh (2019) states that Dove for instance was the most popular brand for deodorants in the US and earned more than $203 million.

❤️ Research and investment of huge amounts: With its strong financial position, It is certainly one of the top firms with the leading development initiatives. The brands constantly develop new products, making sure that they stay up-to-date with the latest trends in consumer behavior.

❤️ Great Diversity hedges COVID-19 crises: With the variety of products for consumers that comprise over 400 different brands Unilever is able to offer regional as well as product variety, which reduces its risk of contracting the pandemic significantly ( Wood, 2020).

  Weaknesses Of Unilever In SWOT Analysis

In the sector of consumer goods, Proctor & Gamble is the biggest rival of Unilever. In 2020, Unilever’s competitor Proctor & Gamble outsold Unilever by about 10-billion dollars. Despite the epidemic, P&G’s net sales increased by 4.8 percent. Unilever however, recorded only a 2.4 percent decrease in its overall turnover.

This highlights important areas for improvement at Unilever. A few of them are listed below:

❤️ The Continuity of supply the global crisis in health as well as the subsequent rules of government has had a negative impact on Unilever’s procurement processes, manufacturing, and distribution. Physical disruptions, such as those that occurred during the current Suez Canal block could also negatively impact the supply chain for Unilever. So, Unilever should develop new contingency plans or extend existing ones to lessen the effects of supply chain disruptions.

❤️ Relevance to the Product 2020 witnessed major shifts in demand across various product categories. Unilever predicts that the ongoing effects of the global epidemic and the subsequent global recession could cause instability in demand as a result of the changing behavior of consumers. This means that Unilever must increase its capacity to detect and meet the demands of consumers by gaining speed and agility.

❤️ channel capabilities having 25 million outlets spread across the world is a huge advantage. With such a broad distribution system, Unilever’s goods have a reach of nearly 1 in three people around the globe. However, locks and social distancing practices have led to a shift towards online shopping. 2020 saw an increase of 61% in sales made online. But, online sales made up only 9 percent of the company’s revenues. This means that Unilever should broaden its supply channels, including online platforms.

❤️ IT infrastructure In the process of Unilever extending distribution options to incorporate internet-based platforms, it has to be aware of the security risks that are inherent to the new region. Data privacy is becoming an increasingly important issue as interactions between suppliers, customers, and customers are increasing.

❤️ Strategies for Brand Communication Social and technological shifts are disrupting the traditional models of brand communication. Unilever should not just revise its messaging, but as well the medium. In terms of messaging, the social mission of the brand has been becoming more important. As for the medium, the role of digital media in comparison to traditional media is growing.

Opportunities Of Unilever In SWOT Analysis

❤️ A new environmental policy: The opportunities will provide an environment that is equal for all players within the market. It is an excellent chance for Unilever to demonstrate its advantages in the field of new technology and increase sales share within the emerging category of products.

❤️ Lower inflation rate: The lower inflation rate creates more stability in the market and permits credit at a lower rate to consumers of Unilever.

❤️ The green drive of the government also provides the possibility of purchasing Unilever products for the state and Federal government agencies.

❤️ The tax reforms could profoundly alter the ways of conducting business. It could also create new opportunities for established players like Unilever to improve its profit margins.

❤️ The economic recovery and the increase in customers’ spending, following many years of recession and a slow growth within the sector, provide an excellent opportunity for Unilever to attract new customers and grow its market share.

❤️ The new technology gives the opportunity for Unilever to implement an innovative pricing strategy in the current market. This will allow the company to keep its loyal customers by providing excellent service, as well as attract new customers with other attractive propositions.

❤️ Recent trends in consumer behavior could open up an entirely new market for Unilever. This is a fantastic chance for the company to create new revenue streams, and expand into different product lines, too.

❤️ The steady flow of free cash gives the opportunity to invest in other product segments. When there is more money in the bank, the company could invest in the latest technologies and also in new product segments. This could open up a new window of opportunities for Unilever in different product segments.

 threats Of Unilever In SWOT Analysis

Global operations run the danger of increasing the number of risks to supply chains. A few of these vulnerabilities occur from adverse circumstances like the pandemic, or the Suez Canal block. Additionally, government rules, political and economic instability, and consumer behavior can affect the turnover of Unilever. Let’s review the various aspects.

❤️ The impact of the Pandemic as Unilever is a major player in the consumer products industry, the disruptions caused by the pandemic are affecting manufacturing, purchasing, and distribution. Even though sales figures do not reflect the extent of the effect this pandemic has caused massive internal changes in the method Unilever operates.

❤️ currency fluctuations: The health crisis in the world is leading the world towards recession. The emerging economies are being impacted. The weakness of the currencies of major markets like Brazil, Argentina, and India has resulted in a 2.4 percent decrease year-on-year in turnover.

❤️ Political and economic volatility Because Unilever operates across the globe and has a global presence, the company is vulnerable to political and economic unstable conditions. This can affect the demand for consumer goods, disrupt operations, and decrease profitability.

❤️ government Regulation The actions of the government that influence fiscal and trade policies could affect the operations of Unilever. The government may also create environmental regulations, such as the introduction of a carbon tax or requiring a net no-deforestation policy. These regulations could impact the price of products as well as sales and profits.

❤️ shifting consumer preferences In the marketplace for consumer goods consumers can rapidly change their preferences for goods. This is why Unilever must be able to follow consumer preferences with a keen eye and respond to the changing needs quickly.

Competitors of Unilever

Unilever is an international multinational corporation based in the Anglo-Dutch region which is headquartered London in London and Rotterdam. 

It offers a range comprising cleaning solutions, food, and beverages, as well as personal health products. 

Its revenue is over 50 billion euros and is the owner of more than 400 brands. It is among the longest-running companies in the consumer products sector.

Unilever is a company that operates in the market for consumer goods which is extremely competitive. Some of the competitors in the world of Unilever include PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, and a number of others.


PepsiCo is considered to be the most formidable competitor of Unilever in the beverage and snacks segment. 

PepsiCo India has dominated the country’s largest food and drink business, and continues to be the fastest-growing food and drink company in India. 

Additionally, PepsiCo has earned a high reputation for its brand in India and around the globe that making it the toughest rival to Unilever.


Nestle is another name on its list of competitors of Unilever. It holds a significant share of the foods and drinks market. 

In addition, Nestle is one of the largest shareholders of L’OREAL which is the largest cosmetics manufacturer in the world. 

Nestle offers a diverse product line and an international presence, which makes Nestle one of Unilever’s most powerful rivals on the market.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is one of the largest and most successful pharmaceuticals as well as manufacturer of consumer products firms. It has operations in more than sixty nations and is home to over 1 lakh people around the globe. 

Johnson & Johnson is the most trusted brand in the eyes of consumers and enjoys massive brand loyalties. The brand’s global presence and loyalties make Johnson & Johnson the arch-rival of Unilever.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Unilever

While SWOT analysis is a popular tool for strategic planning, SWOT analysis is used widely to plan strategic strategies however, it does have its fair share of drawbacks.

  • Certain abilities or aspects of an organization could be both strengths and weaknesses at the same time. This is among the most important limitations in SWOT analyses. Changes in environmental regulations can be an opportunity and a threat to the company. However, it may also provide an opportunity in the sense that it can allow companies to be in a position to compete with their competitors or gain an advantage over their competitors when it is can develop their products more quickly than their competitors.
  • SWOT doesn’t provide a way to get a competitive edge It is not a strategy to gain a competitive advantage, therefore it should not be considered a solution in and of itself.
  • The matrix is merely an initial point of reference for discussions on how the suggested strategies might be implemented. It offered an evaluation window, but not an implementation plan based on the Strategic Competitiveness Unilever
  • The SWOT model is a static evaluation that analyzes the current conditions with only a few potential modifications. As the environment, circumstances, as well as threats, and strategies, alter, the dynamic of the competitive landscape will not be apparent through a single analysis.
  • SWOT analysis can make a firm over-emphasize one external or internal aspect when formulating strategies. There are interrelations among important external and internal aspects that SWOT doesn’t reveal, which can be vital in formulating strategies.

Weighted SWOT Analysis of Unilever

Due to the previously stated weaknesses of the SWOT analysis/ matrix, the corporate management determined to give an appropriate amount of weightage to every internal strength and weakness of the company. 

They also consider the likeliness of events that will occur in the near future, and what the effect will be on the company’s performance.

This is referred to as weighted SWOT analysis. It’s better than simple SWOT analysis since using weighted SWOT analysis Unilever managers can concentrate on the most important aspects and eliminate the less important ones. 

This also helps solve the problem of a long list that causes organizations to make an extensive list, but none of the elements are considered to be crucial.

Unilever’s SWOT Analysis Recommendations

The SWOT analysis conducted by Unilever provides a variety of external and internal strategic aspects that managers need to consider in the development of their strategy. 

For instance, the shortcomings of a lack of business diversification as well as the product’s equivocal nature are important as they impact the performance of businesses and their stability. 

In this context, it is recommended to diversify the business of Unilever by buying related companies which are not part of the industry of consumer goods. Additionally, Unilever needs to consider innovations in product design as an opportunity to increase company performance. 

It is suggested that the company utilize its strengths, like economies of scale, to drive the development of new products to fight the threat of competition and imitation.


❤️ How does Unilever stand out from competitors?

Presently, the company uses broad differentiation. The goal of the business is to develop specific characteristics and features that help its products stand out from the competition. Thus, Unilever, through this method, successfully draws customers to its specially-designed consumer products.

❤️ What are the objectives of Unilever?

It has given three major goals to accomplish in 2020. helping one billion individuals enhance their health and well-being as well as improve the living conditions that hundreds of thousands of workers who are part of the supply chain, and to reduce by half the carbon footprint of the products of the company.

❤️ What are Unilever’s core competencies?

Unilever has set up several strategies to enter diverse markets around the globe. Since the brand has a distinct strength, Unilever emphasizes on its traditional branding.  It makes high-quality products that are priced at a reasonable cost, which helps them be to be recognized by the marketplace.

❤️ What strategy does Unilever use?

Unilever utilizes wide differentiation in a general strategy to increase its competitive edge. The principal purpose of this general strategy is on characteristics or attributes that make its products stand out from the competition.

❤️ What is Unilever’s mission?

“Unilever’s goal is to give vitality to your life. We cater to the needs of everyday life, such as health, hygiene, and personal care by offering brands that make people feel and look great and get more out of their lives.”

❤️ Who is Unilever’s biggest competitor?

P&G has been identified as the most powerful competitor to Unilever. P&G is a public firm that was founded by a group of men in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1837. Similar to Unilever, P&G also operates in the Personal Products sector.

❤️ What does Unilever mean?

From the Longman Dictionary of Modern EnglishU.ni.le.ver”‘Ju:[email protected]’ $ trademark A large British company that manufactures detergents (=soap to wash dishes or clothing) as well as dairy products, food items, and more. Quizzes.


Unilever has been involved in consumer satisfaction for a long time and we believe that it will prevail over the current bleak conditions within the FMCG segment. 

However, we end the article by putting out cautionary words about not being too concerned about the threat posed by those Asian FMCG giants for granted because they are more knowledgeable about the continent and are able to navigate the complexities of the global market.

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