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Unilever reports a 76% lift in ecommerce sales as brands from Graze to Ben & Jerrys and Marmite sell online

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Graze’s parent company Unilever today said its ecommerce sales grew by 76% in the third quarter of its financial year, as more shoppers buy food and other items for home consumption.

When Unilever bought snack subscription brand Graze in 2019, it said it planned to use its technology and and ecommerce expertise across its business. 

Now more Unilever brands are selling their wares for home delivery. Ben & Jerrys launched ecommerce sales this year, while shoppers can buy personalised jars of Marmite – as well as Marmite mugs and posters – on its ecommerce shop. 

Unilever’s online growth comes as the company reported turnover of €12.9bn (£11.45bn) in the third quarter of its financial year, down by 2.8% following currency fluctuations, although underlying sales were up by 4.4%. That underlying sales growth was seen across its divisions, including beauty and personal care (+3.8%), home care (+6.7%) and food and refreshment (+3.7%). 

Unilever said that there was increased demand for hygiene products and food to be eaten at home, but that its food service and out-of-home ice cream businesses continued to fall. 

Unilever chief executive Alan Jope said: “We have delivered a strong performance this quarter. Volume-led growth shows the resilience of our portfolio and our agility in responding to rapidly changing dynamics across consumer segments, geographies and channels.” 

The group now plans to remove fossil fuels from its cleaning products by 2030. 

Commenting, Mark Lynch, partner at Oghma Partners, said: “Another strong set of revenue figures highlights the maintained shift from out of home to in home spend and also the trend of ‘comfort buying’; in a world where trust is in short supply consumers are shifting back to brands which are trusted and well known. In many respects the purchasing decisions are therefore the pay-back for sustained brand investment and brand building which in some cases, like Marmite, stretches back over a century to 1902.”

Graze is ranked Top500 in RXUK Top500 research. 

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