Unilever unveils cool new blend as Flora focuses on sandwiches

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Unilever is reformulating and revamping its Flora portfolio ahead of a new focus on sandwiches.

The company said it had invested about £30m in a new plant to enable Flora to be made using a new cool blending process. The process “preserves the natural goodness” of the canola, linseed and sunflower oil used in Flora spread.

New packs are rolling out to the multiples as of this month, highlighting the better taste, and improving shelf standout. In addition, Unilever will invest £10m on marketing activity for Flora in 2012, including a TV campaign in March.

Flora brand manager Alastair McKerrow said Unilever had decided to make a significant investment in Flora because of demand for “healthy, delicious” products.

The company now planned to further boost sales by encouraging consumers to use Flora in sandwiches, particularly at lunchtime, he said.

The revamp comes as Flora faces increased competition - this month Arla launched Lurpak Lightest Spreadable, a reduced-fat butter spread with a fat content comparable to Flora Light, and in October, Kerry Foods launched a Flora lookalike called Smart Health into Tesco.

Readers' comments (41)

  • Well, as a consumer with children who have been brought up with flora we are NOT liking the new taste! It has lost its nutty flavour.
    I can't imagine we are the only ones surely!

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  • I have been using Flora for years and must say that this new Flora tastes terrible. I thought I had opened the margarine by mistake. I will not be buying this one again. Please bring back the old Flora that we know and love.

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  • Opened a new pack this morning. It's probably going in the bin.
    Strange though it may sound.. I've bought Flora for years because I like the taste.
    Now I don't.

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  • it is truly disgusting - tastes like 1950's cheap marge and recreates the unique slimyness. We won't use it, having used flora for years. The new recipe either uses 25% cheaper oils,or incorpoates more water, or both. They can save £10 million by cancelling their ad campaign.

    Just to nitpick, 'original' cannot be prefaced by 'new' even in the demented world of advertising jargon!

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  • This "New" Flora Original is vile, rancid and disgusting. I tasted it today for the 1st time and thought I had actually spread margarine from the 1960's on my bread. Unbelievable that they have changed my favourite (and one and only) spread to this muck.

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  • New flora is disgusting if they want to introduce new product call it something else but leave the original alone. I am quite shocked because I love the old one now it is vile.
    We need a campaign to bring the original one back what happend to customers are right.

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  • Anonymous

    I echo all the comments above. I believe if Unilever do not reverse this change, then the Flora brand will have a spectacular 'Ratner' style fall from grace. Can you imagine Coco Cola and Heinz replacing their most successful brands. Definitely not. There is nothing wrong with trying out new brands but don't replace a market leader.

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  • It astounds me that marketeers can't leave successful brands alone. Why would you take a market leading brand with a very loyal following and make a £20m investment which will require a further £10m or so in advertising support to make an oxymoronic "new" and "original" relaunched product that is inferior. The new spread reminded me of the warm, slimy and very pungent cooking margarine we used to get to spread on our bread on scout camp in the 70's. What on earth went on in the focus groups?

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  • Anonymous

    The wife and I agree with the comments here. The "new improved recipe" has introduced a vile taste and smell, as well as giving it a rather slimy appearance.

    The whole attraction of the Original Flora (which we have used for the best part of 50 years) was the lack of smell and virtual lack of taste. We won't be using Flora once our stocks of the old recipe are used up.

    Also, how can you totally change the smell, taste and appearance of a product and call it "New Original"?

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  • We have used Flora for many years and now the new one tastes like cheap margarine and it's no good for cooking. Please bring back the old one as we won't be buying the 'new improved' version, bad mistake changing it.

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