The news of Unilever buying healthy snack brand Graze is perhaps unsurprising. Given Graze’s highly successful beginnings as a subscription snacking service, through to its expansion into retail, it is often lauded as the darling of the healthy snacking movement. With Unilever’s desire to create a more sustainable portfolio of brands fit for the consumer of the future, acquiring Graze is a great way to more clearly establish itself in the healthy foods sector.
Two points to consider going forward: With Unilever’s current trend for snapping up subscription models (here’s looking at your Dollar Shave Club) showing no signs of abating, I wonder whether Graze will influence how other Unilever brands operate. Are personalised, delivered-to-your-door Magnums all but a click away?
In contrast, it will be interesting to understand how Unilever will influence Graze. The distribution might of Unilever will certainly be of benefit to Graze as they seek geographical expansion, but how it balances this wider distribution with its start-up, happy-go-lucky brand perceptions will be important. Keeping its core consumers happy as it transitions from master of its own destiny to one brand among many will be important.
Let’s see: I would hope that Unilever leave the brand well alone as it gets used to grown-up corporate life.