The economic reality in Nigeria has started crippling in and dealt a devastating effect on fast moving consumer goods as major organisations began to make tough decision concerning their operations and brands.
In a statement signed by Godfrey Adejumoh, Unilever Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Manager and made available to The Industry, the company revealed its intention to discontinue manufacturing of three leading fmcg brands in homecare and skin cleaning segments – Sunlight, Omo and Lux.
In a release titled ‘Unilever Nigeria Plc. repositions for sustained profitability’ Unilever reaffirms its commitment to strengthening operations in Nigeria.
As part of its aim to continue to make its operations in Nigeria competitive, profitable, and sustainable Unilever Nigeria Plc. announced changes in its business model that will accelerate growth and sustain profitability while enhancing its ability to meet consumer needs. The 100-year-old consumer goods company will repurpose its portfolio while putting in place measures to make the business more efficient and fit for the future.
The Unilever’s Managing Director, Carl Cruz, said, “All companies need to adapt to changing market circumstances and now is the right time for us to reposition Unilever Nigeria Plc. to better meet the needs of our consumers, shareholders, and employees. We are a truly Nigerian business and the oldest serving manufacturer in the country. By making these changes, we will unleash the sustained and profitable growth we need to be here for the next 100 years as well.”
Cruz noted that Unilever Nigeria Plc. is repurposing its portfolio by gradually exiting two categories, Home Care and Skin Cleansing, affecting only 3 brands (OMO, Sunlight and Lux) with the company better poised to drive the rest of its brand portfolio for growth into the future and strengthen business operations with measures to digitize and simplify processes.
In 2022, Sunlight was relaunched in Nigeria with the commitment to empower 500,000 women by 2025 through Shakti programme.
In Nigeria, Sunlight runs a programme called Shakti, an initiative whereby women in rural areas are provided products to resell to households in their communities, making a profit and generating an income stream for themselves. In addition, the brand has partnered with Leading Ladies Africa, a women-focused non-profit, to recognise women across different business spheres.
Speaking during a workshop in Lago, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Director, Unilever West Africa, Soromidayo George, said the goal of the Sunlight Shakti programme is to help African women achieve financial security and move from low-income to middle-income thereby bolstering their independence.
On his part, Category Manager, Homecare, Oladapo Oshuntoye, said over 6,000 rural women have already been empowered in Nigeria since the launch of the Shakti programme in 2004 and provided seed capital in the form of Unilever products, business training and funding for women thereby improving the livelihoods of rural areas.