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Six ways we’re creating impact with our innovations


Our focus on driving bigger, better and more impactful innovation delivered over €1 billion of incremental turnover in 2021, double the delivery in 2020. Here are just a few examples of our innovation in action.

Plate of food in the foreground with a jar of Hellmann’s vegan mayonnaise in the background.

Innovation is at the heart of our growth. It’s how we design, produce and market everyday products that bring real benefits to people against genuine needs and pain-points, and deliver more sustainable solutions without compromising on performance.

Recently, we’ve been transforming how we innovate. We’re shifting our approach to work on fewer, bigger innovation activities – executed with more discipline – and focus on the fastest-growing consumer and channel spaces.

This is resulting in a stronger innovation funnel for our biggest brands to transform the core, premiumise their offering and access high-growth spaces. Here are just a few of many examples.

  1. Our most effective deodorant yet

    80% of people are let down by their deodorant, because ordinary antiperspirants can’t always keep up with their busy lives. To tackle this, we launched our most effective deodorant yet. Rexona’s patented technology provides 72 hours of sweat and odour protection – a microtechnology innovation brought together by over 50 expert scientists. We’re the global category leader in deodorants and Rexona – also known as Degree and Sure – is the world’s No.1 deo brand.

    A photo from Rexona’s advertising campaign featuring a woman exercising.
  2. A zero salt stock cube

    With many people eating over twice the recommended daily amount of salt, consumer interest in reduced salt or sodium products is growing fast. At our Foods Innovation Centre in the Netherlands, our experts came up with the world’s first zero salt range of stock cubes. Traditionally, salt is used to form the cube’s structure, holding all the other ingredients together.

    To create the Knorr zero salt stock cube, the R&D team ran thousands of virtual experiments in parallel, with multiple combinations of ingredients to find the optimal balance of taste, texture and nutrition. Launched in 2020 and now scaled to ten markets, it’s just one of the many steps our largest food brand is taking to help consumers transition to healthier diets.

    Packet of Knorr Veggie Zero Salt stock cubes on a table surrounded by herbs.
  3. Leave-on skin care benefits in a wash-off product

    Early in 2022, Dove launched its biggest formula improvement in six years: our new Dove Body Wash, with clinically proven superior moisturisation and care. It has a patented technology at its core, along with an ultra-mild, microbiome-friendly formulation, that brings leave-on skin care benefits to a wash-off product. By delivering better on core consumer benefits with our biggest brand and in key markets – and with sustainability built in through its 98% biodegradable formulation – the launch is proving to be one of our most successful ever.

    Advertising image showing four bottles in the new Dove Body Wash range.
  4. The growing need for plant-based ingredients

    If the world’s food system is to cope with population growth and climate change, plant-based foods must be higher on the menu. Dairy-free, vegan and meat alternatives – high growth and premium segments – are a key focus. One particularly successful innovation in this space is Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise which is now available in 33 markets (and counting) and is the No.1 vegan mayonnaise in the UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Czech Republic and Netherlands. And food isn’t the only application for plant-based ingredients. We’re also introducing 100% renewable and biodegradable plant-based polymers in our laundry detergents.

    Three jars of Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo range – Chipotle, Garlic and Baconnaise.
  5. Advanced tech behind a beauty revolution

    Over recent years, we’ve developed more than 40 technologies for our Prestige Beauty business, which is growing fast with a turnover of €1 billion in 2021. One of our most recent is Hourglass Red 0. This is the first vegan alternative to the most commonly used red pigment in colour cosmetics – red carmine, which is derived from female beetles and can take 1,000 beetles for one lipstick. This was a multi-year development, heavily dependent on digital, virtual experiments.

    Advertising image showing the Hourglass Red 0 lipstick.
  6. A key launch in a fast-growing segment

    Dove Hair Therapy is a key launch for us in a segment – premium hair – which is growing at 30%. Its formula includes state-of-the-art skin care ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3) to deliver product performance that’s superior to higher-priced luxury brands, with 97% less breakage after just one use. This product was launched exclusively in the US and we’re in the process of rolling it out to other markets.

    Advertising image showing four bottles in the new Dove Hair Therapy range.
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