Unilever could bring marketing strategies honed in the developing world to Europe, in response to the economic slump across the Continent.

The Lynx and Dove maker is set to offer dramatically reduced portions of its food, washing powder, shampoo and other personal care brands, according to comments made by the company’s European chief, Jan Zijderveld.

“Poverty is returning to Europe,” Zijderveld told FT Deutschland.

“If a consumer in Spain only spends €17 when they go shopping, I’m not going to be able to sell them washing powder for half of their budget,” he said.

“In Indonesia we sell packs of shampoo for two to three cents and still make decent money. We know how to do that, but in Europe we have forgotten in the years before the crisis.”