Unilever has moved the management of iconic brands such as Marmite and Pot Noodle to a centralised office in the Netherlands in a bid to boost sales of brands that are successful nationally but not necessarily globally.
With Peperami and Bovril, they are among 14 European Unilever brands that are now to be managed from Rotterdam rather than within their domestic markets, under a strategy called Operation Chrysalis.
'Local jewels' - brands with appeal in individual countries rather than globally - did not demand the same magnitude of resource or focus as brands with more global clout such as Knorr or Dove, said Trevor Gorin, head of media affairs at Unilever UK. "They will be managed alongside the 'local jewels' of France and Germany - and benefit from a specialised focus. It's about getting better value out of the products and learning from each other. For example, how can other businesses benefit from the success of Marmite?"
Manufacturing of the brands remained in the UK and there was no connection with the recent 62 job cuts at the Pot Noodle plant in Crumlin, Gwent, he added.
This week, Unilever also announced 100 jobs would be lost at its Flora and Stork factory in Purfleet and Lynx plant in Leeds under the final stage of a seven-month manufacturing review.