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Unilever Banking On Gut Microbiome Health As It Rolls Out Plant-Based Diet Innovations

Unilever, a global multinational in the consumer goods sector, is instigating a internal health revolution focused on the gut microbiome by pushing the expansion plant-based products.

Amidst growing evidence linking the health of our gut to overall well-being, Unilever's new initiatives could well transform consumer eating habits, offering a blend of health benefits and appetising choices.

The gut microbiome, a complex ecosystem within our digestive tract, plays a critical role in our physical and mental health. Research has shown plant-based diets significantly enhance the diversity and functionality of gut microbes, key in addressing health issues like obesity and anxiety. Understanding this, Unilever, impacting 3.4 billion consumers daily, is making plant-based eating more accessible and appealing.

Ai of gut and organ internals of the human body

Source: PFN Ai Depiction of the human internals

Simone Pyle, Unilever’s Science & Technology Manager, Gut Microbiome, underscores the importance of plant-based diets for gut health. "Over half of the microbes in our gut can be altered by what we eat, so the trick is to ‘feed’ the beneficial ones that are critical to maintaining good health," says Simone Pyle.

Unilever aims to have 54% of their products enriched with beneficial plant ingredients by 2025, and they are well on their way, with 48% already achieved as of 2022.

Unilever's product innovations, such as the Knorr dehydrated vegetable range in Argentina and reformulated Knorr meal kits in the Netherlands, are designed to make plant-based eating both convenient and appealing. These initiatives are part of Unilever's broader strategy to promote a diverse, nutrient-rich plant-based diet.

Source: Various Unilever Knorr Products

"By 2025 we also aim to have achieved €1.5 billion annual sales from plant-based products in categories that would have traditionally used animal-derived ingredients," Simone Pyle adds, highlighting Unilever's commitment to this shift.

As consumer awareness of the gut-health connection intensifies, Unilever is at the leading edge of integrating scientific insights into food innovations. Their approach is not just about selling products, but about fostering a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for millions around the globe.

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