Unilever US Club Channel

The challenge

Unilever International is the white space innovation division of the global FMCG giant and Designbank have been their strategic partner since 2014, working with their UK, Asian and North American divisions.

The US Warehouse Club channel is worth over $150 billion and as consumers switch to bulk purchases, it’s the only growing channel in retail in North America. Revenue has grown by 7.1% over the past decade and this key volume market now accounts for over 10% of total consumer packaged goods sales. To be successful in this channel a retailer-specific approach to brand, product strategy, and innovation is required. Our challenge was to concept exciting new convenience SKUs from existing global brands and develop unique and disruptive shopper merchandising solutions for their key retail partners in this channel.


The work

The Unilever International team innovate with surgical precision, often bringing new products to global markets in less than 12 months. The Designbank teams needed to quickly develop new brand packaging design solutions and drive the production through the global supply chain. 4 key brands were identified with significant growth potential including Vaseline, Dove Cream, Ponds and Dove Nourishing Rituals.

Operating as parallel workstreams, our packaging design team and shopper marketing teams had to develop innovative 360° launch materials based on collective insights into the consumer needs within this channel and our insights into the new SKUs. Working across international time zones with our colleagues in NY & Asia, we developed prototypes for testing and listing in Walmart, Dollar and Costco. These were followed up with model activation toolkits for all 4 brand priorities that included full 360° merchandising kits and disruptive POS. 


The impact

All of the new products performed ahead of budget in the trials and the plan now is to launch all the new product offerings for the 4 selected brands into the channel by Q3 2020.

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