The firm, which is behind brands including Flora, Knorr and PG Tips, has registered four trademarks with the Intellectual Property Office that all relate to “educational services in the field of healthy lifestyles”. They all reference further categories for “provision of information regarding health living and lifestyle wellness” and “providing a website and online applications” to deliver customised education information, advice and coaching in the field of healthy living and lifestyle wellness.
The trademarks come under three names, “Smart”, “Smart Swap” and “Habit Smart”. It is not yet clear whether these might be standalone services or will be integrated with Unilever’s current website.
Unilever has confirmed it owns the trademarks and said that an announcement is forthcoming. However, it has not confirmed any further details.
Any healthy-eating website could be part of Unilever’s “Responsibility Deal” commitments to the government. The agreement, signed in 2011, aims to get private companies working with the public sector to improve people’s health.
Currently 25 per cent of UK adults are classified as obese, with that figure predicted to rise to 50 per cent by 2025. The government is working with both businesses and health organisations to improve public health, looking at areas including food, drink and physical activity.
Unilever has signed up to a number of initiatives that come under healthy living, including out of home calorie labelling, calorie reduction and healthier staff restaurants.
The firm is also committed to improving health and well-being through its “Sustainable Living Plan”. Under the “improving nutrition” initiative, it aims to double the proportion of its products that meet the highest nutritional standards by 2020, from the 18 per cent that currently do.
Its targets include reducing salt levels and saturated fat and increasing essential fatty acids to help people globally achieve a healthier diet. It has also launched a sustainability initiative, Project Sunlight, aimed at showcasing efforts by its brands and encouraging consumers to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.
The company also runs programmes aimed at getting chefs and cooks to cook healthier meals and previously trialled a food comparison website, Smartswaps.co.uk. This assessed consumers’ online shopping histories and applied an algorithm to suggest healthier alternatives, although it has since shut down.