Unilever in Flora formulation u-turn after consumer basklash

Flora: Unilever switches product back to its original flavour
Flora: Unilever switches product back to its original flavour

Unilever has responded to a consumer backlash against the reformulation of its yellow fats brand Flora by returning the product to its original flavour, just 18 months after making the £29m change.

Unilever relaunched its Flora Original variant in January 2012 following a huge investment in a new cool blending production process that was intended to make the spread "healthier and tastier" for consumers.

However, within weeks of the relaunch consumers were threatening to boycott the product, and a survey of 1,800 consumers revealed that nearly 70% of buyers would welcome a return to the original flavour.

The campaign to win back consumers will include the distribution of more than one million coupons to redeem against tubs of Flora Original in-store, in addition to sampling, print advertising and a money back guarantee.

New packs of Flora Original will feature the "Back to the taste you love" campaign message.

Unilever has also revealed that Flora will benefit from "a multi-million [pound] marketing campaign later this year". Adam & Eve/DDB retained its £11m UK advertising account for Flora following a six month pitch in March.

The u-turn follows a dramatic drop in annual sales of Flora spreads, which fell 9.6% by weight to 58.8m kg and 12.4% by revenue to £188.8m, although rival product launches may also have impacted figures.

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