Unilever is gearing up for a major revamp of its Flora spreads portfolio in the new year.

The company plans to move away from the health focus that has characterised much marketing and communication for Flora in recent times and return the brand to its roots as a 'family favourite'. The revamp will involve new packaging as well as a new communications campaign.

Recent marketing efforts for Flora have largely revolved around the spread's heart health benefits. For example, the current Flora Original and Light packs carry straplines saying 'Helps keep your heart age young with omega-3 & 6', while Flora Buttery says 'made with seed oils containing heart-healthy omega-3 & 6'. The Flora website www.florahearts.co.uk is dominated by heart health-related messages, including a Find Your Heart Age test, healthy heart recipes and tips for lowering cholesterol.

Overt focus on heart health meant the Flora brand resonated particularly strongly with older ­demographics at the ­moment, said Unilever ­category director for spreads Phil Ellis.

But the company is looking to recapture the family market by repositioning the brand in 2011 "to combine family with active, healthy living," he added, although he would not be drawn on details of the new campaign.

Flora will continue to have a strong association with health even after the repositioning thanks to its Pro.activ range, which ­specifically targets health-conscious shoppers with the claim that it is 'clinically proven' to 'actively ­lower' cholesterol.

Flora is the second-biggest brand in butters and spreads, with a value of £195m, but sales are down 3.9% year-on-year [Nielsen MAT 2 October 2010]. It is sandwiched between two of Arla's biggest hitters, both of which are reporting growth for the past 12 months.

Category leader Lurpak added 2.8% in sales value to reach £234.2m, while third-ranked Anchor posted sales of £93m, up 5.6%.