unilever-brands

Unilever Brands

Unilever was born from the merger of Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and English soapmaker Lever Brothers in 1929. In subsequent decades, the company expanded beyond oil and fat-based products and now has a portfolio of over 400 brands.

These brands are used by more than 3.4 billion people around the world each day.

In this article, we’ll list some of the popular and lesser-known Unilever brands.

Dove

Dove was founded in the United States in 1957 and initially offered soap with a patented blend of mild cleansers and moisturizers.

Today, Dove is the number one dermatologist-recommended brand in the United States, France, and Canada. 

In addition to soap, Dove-branded products also encompass hair care, lotions, moisturizers, beauty bars, body washes, and antiperspirants.

Dove has been part of the Unilever family for decades, with former Lever Brothers employee Vincent Lamberti granted the original manufacturing patent to Dove soap in the 1950s.

Magnum

Magnum is a Belgian ice cream brand that was developed and produced by Danish company Frisko in the late 1980s.

The original Magnum consisted of vanilla ice cream with a chocolate coating that would not perish in temperatures of -40°C. According to Unilever, it was the first hand-held ice cream marketed exclusively at adults.

The Magnum brand is owned by Unilever in most countries. But in Greece, for example, the brand was acquired by Nestlé as a result of its acquisition of Delta Ice Cream in 2005.

Vaseline

Vaseline is an American petroleum jelly brand that also sells soaps, cleansers, lotions, deodorants, and skin creams.

Similar to the way Google is now a verb as well as a noun, the word “Vaseline” is commonly used as a generic term for any petroleum jelly. 

Vaseline dates back to 1872 when chemist Robert Chesebrough learned of a wax residue that was produced by oil rig pumps.

Taking samples back to his lab in Brooklyn, Chesebrough extracted the usable petroleum jelly and began selling it as a medicinal product.

Omo

Omo is a British laundry detergent brand and is Unilever’s largest such brand. Depending on the location in which it is sold, Omo is also known as Skip, Surf, Excel, and Persil.

Omo was first registered in the United Kingdom as early as 1908. It is believed to be an acronym for “Old Mother Owl” to link the wisdom of an owl with the purchase of Omo laundry detergent.

Today, Omo is a leader in sustainably sourced ingredients and packaging. The new Omo Eco Active features 70% plant-based cleaning agents and 25% recycled plastic.

Lifebuoy 

Like Dove, Lifebuoy is another Unilever brand that can trace its origins back to Lever Brothers.

The first Lifebuoy product was released in 1894 and quickly became known for its distinctive red color and medicated carbolic scent.

It was released by William and James Lever to make the simple act of washing one’s hands more commonplace, with this pedigree of healthy hygiene practices still evident in Lifebuoy’s product range today.

Key takeaways:

  • Unilever was born from the merger of Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie and English soapmaker Lever Brothers in 1929. The company now has a 400 brand portfolio with most related to consumer packaged goods.
  • Dove and Lifebuoy are two Unilever brands that were developed at Lever Brothers before the merger, while Omo is a British laundry detergent brand considered to be the oldest such brand in the world.
  • Other Unilever brands include Belgian ice cream maker Magnum and American petroleum jelly brand Vaseline, which has entered common usage as an adjective.

Read Next: Unilever Business Model.

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