As the credit crunch began to hurt the everyday shopper's wallet market watchers predicted a migration away from branded products towards the own brand products of the retailers. Although this did happen to a degree, branded household products giant Unilever continued to perform strongly.

So much so that it added to its empire of products with the acquisition of the Personal Care business of Sara Lee, which is responsible for the Sanex and Radox bathroom products as well as Brylcreem hair products. Unilever agreed a cash deal of 1.27billion Euros for the business, but was subject to European regulatory approval at the time of writing.

Unilever has been standardising its IT processes onto the SAP enterprise resource planning platform. As the economy slowed down Paul Polman, Unilever CEO said that efficiencies from the SAP and other programmes would be expected to increase as he planned to be "driving our savings programme even harder".

The One Unilever global efficiency plan, which includes the global adoption of SAP has recorded savings of 1.1 billion Euros.
Unilever manufacturers household brands such as Vaseline, Domestos bleach, Dove soap and Marmite.