Unilever’s new ingredient transparency initiative

Unilever’s new ingredient transparency initiative

Consumer goods multinational Unilever has announced a new ingredient transparency initiative for its home and personal care brands, specifically focussing on fragrances.

In a sign that major players are responding to consumer demand for access to clear, detailed ingredient information, the initiative aims to ‘go beyond labelling requirements’ and provide in-depth product and ingredient information, according to the company.

Launching in the US and in Europe, it includes the following three key areas: fragrance ingredient disclosure, a ‘what’s in our products’ section on the Unilever.

“We are committed to ensuring people have the information they need to choose the right product for them. So that is exactly what we are doing, going the extra mile beyond what is already on the label,” said Unilever’s chief research and development officer, David Blanchard.

Three part initiative

The initiative, which launched this week in the US, UK, Netherlands and Germany with more European countries due to come online soon, is split into its three key sections.

Unilever asserts that each will contribute to greater transparency in the following ways:

Fragrance ingredient disclosure. This year Unilever will start to voluntarily disclose online the fragrance ingredients included in individual products (down to 0.01% of the product formulation) along with details of the scent the fragrance ingredients bring to the product.  Unilever says it aims to complete this by 2018.

A What’s in our Products section on Unilever websites.The new section provides people with access to information beyond the label, such as Unilever’s approach to developing safe products, explanations of ingredient types and answers to common questions.  Individual product information, which will be updated to include the fragrance ingredients, is also provided so that people can look up ingredients and understand their function on the product.

Enhanced fragrance allergen information. In Europe, Unilever products are already labelled with fragrance allergens in line with regulations. In addition, our new voluntary online search tool will be launched to support people with allergies to find suitable products for them. In the US, Unilever will voluntarily expand its labelling of fragrance allergens on pack to cover the full Unilever personal care portfolio.

The initiative forms part of the multinational’s wider Sustainable Living Plan, according to the company. One key tenet of this is to ‘help more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020’.

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