Unilever Spinning Off Ice Cream Business, Cutting 7,500 Jobs


Unilever’s most screamed-for brands will soon operate under their own banner, as yet unannounced.

The global CPG giant is spinning off its ice cream business, and planning to cut around 7,500 jobs, as part of an acceleration of its growth action plan -- a move the company says it’s making to “ensure that Unilever’s financial and management resources are focused on its strongest, global or scalable brands.” Unilever will begin “separation activity’ for the demerger immediately, with plans to arrive at a full separation by the end of 2025.

“The Board believes that Unilever should be increasingly focused on a portfolio of unmissably superior brands with strong positions in highly attractive categories that have complementary operating models,” the company wrote in a release announcing the news, adding that ice cream “has a very different operating model.”



The decision also follows what the company described as a “ disappointing year with declining market share and profitability” for its ice cream brands, while noting its continued investments behind “Power Brands" Magnum and Cornetto, to which it attributed “almost 85% of the business group’s turnover.”

Unilever also reported that it would be launching a “productivity program” aimed at arriving at “additional efficiencies which can now be accelerated.” As a result, the company anticipates laying off around 7,500 employees across what it describes as “predominantly office-based roles” globally.

As a standalone business, Unilever’s ice cream offering will already be a category leader, "with brands that together delivered turnover of €7.9 billion in 2023.” Unilever claims the company operates half of the top 10 best-selling ice cream brands globally, including Ben & Jerry’s. Magnum, and Wall’s, with a sizable sales footprint across both the at-home and on-premises markets.

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