Unilever's single biggest brand by revenues is Knorr, the food business acquired as part of Bestfoods in 2000. Despite its already extensive portfolio of products, prior to the Bestfoods deal Unilever had comparatively few brands with a truly global footprint. Certainly none even came close to matching Knorr's widely spread international profile. The brand is now sold in over 90 countries, with combined sales of around €4bn, and there are well over 15,000 SKUs in the full range. Knorr's global product range covers a huge collection of soups, sauces, bouillons and prepared pasta, rice and potato side-dishes. (Japan is the only world market where the brand is not wholly controlled by Unilever. It is marketed there under long-term license by Ajinomoto.) Several other Unilever culinary brands have been migrated into the Knorr masterbrand since 2002, expanding its range even further. However the line-up of products varies widely from country to country depending on local tastes. April Redmond is global brand VP, with Jane Buck as global brand equity director. The business was founded in Germany in the mid-19th century by agricultural wholesaler Carl Heinrich Knorr. He originally began drying and preserving vegetables in order to give his large workforce a nutritious daily meal, and later began selling his products to other factory owners before making it available to the general public for the first time in 1873.
Capsule checked 8th October 2020
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Historical profile information for Knorr
Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Feb 2021: "Eativists". The vegan revolution rolls onward. MullenLowe's likeable new global campaign for the Unilever-owned culinary brand Knorr puts vegetables and pulses to the absolute forefront. Meat gets a brief namecheck ("Eat less of it") but otherwise doesn't even get a look-in. How things have changed in just a few years. "We developed the campaign to help people to realise that what they eat has the power to change the world for the better," says global brand VP April Redmond. "Our ambition is to make eating a wider variety of foods that are better for us and the planet taste great and easy to cook up. We aim to get food that is good for people and the planet on seven billion plates by 2025."
Adbrands Social Media 29th Jun 2018: FRIDAY CLASSIC: Knorr Sidekicks "Salty" by DDB Canada (2009). The viral video phenomenon really came of age at the end of the Noughties. For advertisers it created, probably for the first time, an environment where a marketing concept that had clicked with viewers in the initial TV ad could then be amplified and extended across a series of subsequent films at comparatively low cost. Since these could be distributed online virtually for free, without the high-stakes cost of a TV campaign, it gave agencies the freedom to be looser and far more imaginative. More than a few internet heroes were born out of such a environment. ...[Story continues here]..
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Apr 2016: Ads of the Week "Love At First Taste". For this new global campaign for Unilever's Knorr brand, MullenLowe signed up Tatiana Pilieva, the director of that celebrated "First Kiss" viral in which complete strangers were asked to kiss each other on camera. This is along similar lines, with strangers profiled for mutual attraction according to the type of foods they like. Stick with the film - it's a little cringey at first, but the gag actually works very well, and you'll soon be rooting for all these adventurous couples to get along. There's also a charming Behind The Scenes film over on our Facebook page.
Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Mar 2015: Ads of the Week "Flavour of Home". There will be tears. Lowe & Partners delivered this lovely, warm and cuddly spot about the importance of home cooking and family ties for Unilever's Knorr brand. All the big emotional triggers are there: dogs, mothers, food. Get some tissues handy. You'll need them.
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