case study - Uniliver foods

Strategy case Study – Unilever Foods Entry in Namibia

Introduction to company and Current challenges


Unilever Foods is regarded as the division of Unilever, and they are the foremost supplier for delivering fast poignant products, with their production within 180 nations. By delivering superior food service, the company direct the business with pioneering and proficient food components (Unileverfoodsolutions, 2020). Due to skilful and talented staff, the company easily works with chefs and distributive partners on an everyday basis. With an open and optimistic background, the company finds motivation every day and gives power to the individuals to make exceptional ones at every stage of their business operations.


In recent times, one of the key challenges for Unilever is high-volume production cooking. Due to this, the space needed for cooking is large, which indicates that the charges of a central kitchen may be high, particularly within land-scare cities (Unilever foods, 2019). In addition, maintenance for the central kitchen is another challenge for the employees and HR management. To deal with this, preventive maintenance plans for the facilities needs to be added within the operating budget. Managing human resources is the biggest barrier for the company’s development and growth.


The company has developed its partnerships with the best brands like Best Foods, Knorr, Lipton and more. In terms of mission, Unilever offers more than just professional food items, and their service solutions to support the work smarter whilst continuing to please the customers (Unilever Foods, 2018). However, the company’s vision is to develop a healthy planet and lifestyle for the people. It is a challenging one, but with long-term partnerships with consumers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders, UFS should make a distinction within the market. Unilever has set three main targets to attain by 2020. They are:

  • To support one billion individuals by developing their health condition
  • To develop the lifestyle of hundreds of people within supply chain management
  • To intersect the environmental path of the products and services of groups


In 2012, the company has launched open team combination that offers the chances to explore some of technical solutions. To inform the issues, Unilever needs to double the business size and reduce the environmental affect (releases, 2012). The advanced technology allows the company towards reducing the sugar within ready-to-drink ­teas 30%, without affecting on their taste. It also applies as a component within detergent formulation and performs as the pre-treatment application.


a. Macro trend environment analysis using Pestel

Factors Key drivers Opportunity/ threat Reference
Political ·       Regulatory guidelines and restriction offered by Namibia government

·       Uncertainties in political environment

Threat (Unilever, 2020)
Economical ·       Rate of inflation and consumer whims

·       Unemployment rate

Threats (Frue, 2017)
Social ·       Gender equality in higher position

·       Cultural diversity within the workplace

Opportunity (Unilever global company website, 2020)
Technological ·       Enhanced spreading on R&D


Opportunity (Mmaglobal, 2016)
Environmental ·       Environmental protection law in Namibia Threat (Living, 2019)
Legal ·       Laws regarding safety and health condition of workers Opportunity (Unilever foods, 2019)

Table 1: Pestel analysis of Unilever

With a huge quantity of diverse brands and items, Unilever decides to enter the Namibian market. Here, they may face several issues and opportunities while expanding their business operations and functions. In terms of political factors, the company will be subjected to regulatory guidelines and restrictions provided by Namibia’s government. However, the volatile environment in politics will be affecting the business operations of Unilever, and it is measured as the key determinant of the investor’s perspective (Smithson, 2017). Due to this factor, Unilever may face a loss of 14% in local current, while it is expected that the growth decline by 9.5% in 2021. Along with this, restrictions concerning exports, imports, and traffic could hold back the achievement of Unilever in the Namibia market. Strong economic status means that customers are likely to buy the products of the company. Here, the customers directly affect the economic status of Unilever in Namibia (Warc, 2016). If the items are not demanded, the profits and cash flows of Unilever will reduce drastically. Luckily, the company will suffer in this situation, and then it means that they are at the mercy of consumer whims and the inflation rate.

Due to cultural diversity and gender equality, the company will easily survive in Namibia’s market. Here, Unilever is an immensely potential food industry, as they hire different workers from several backgrounds (Mmaglobal, 2016). In the last few years, the company has spent huge capital in R&D and technical advancement. It will allow the company to operate their business functions in Namibia’s market and maximise its revenue and performance in upcoming times. However, the company also emphasizes developing its selling process and digital marketing. In terms of environmental factors, Unilever Foods will face legal issues from NGOs in Namibia (Living, 2019). To deal with this situation, they must endorse renewable and sustainable resources. Their products will be designed to be safe for customers within every location, which they distribute.

Third-party risk factors are quite high in Namibia’s market. Thus, Unilever must set the rules and regulations for their workers. In this case, they may share the information with a third party, and then they have to leave the office. The legal advisory body will maintain the business operations and employee performance to mitigate the issue.

Micro trend environment analysis using Porter’s five forces

Threat of New Entrants
In Namibia, the marketplace has potential for food industries particularly those delivering quality food items. However, the market is also challenging for the new entrants, as they may fail to offer similar service standards maintained by Namibia Quality Beverage Ltd. The government is also offering facilities to enhance investment so that Unilever Foods easily develops its business operations.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
In Namibia, several suppliers are already present. Here, they do not have the scope of bargaining, particularly in the food market. Thus, it is low for Unilever Foods, as they effectively develop their innovative products and services, and deliver the items to their customers within give tenure.
Bargaining Power of Buyers
Buyers play a pivotal role in this food industry. It is found that buyer’s costs of switching from one product to another are not high. The bargaining power of buyers is high in Namibia, as the potential of the food industry is gradually decreasing. However, the company will offer Breyer’s Natural Vanilla at an affordable price.
Competitive rivalry
Competitive rivalry is quite high for Unilever Foods. Major competitors like Tongaat Hulett and Namibia Diaries have existed within the market. They already offer super products and services to their customers. However, due to its association with Nestle, Mars and Kraft Foods, the company may offer a wide range of products to the customers.
Threat of Substitute products
In the Namibia market, the possible substitute will be the homemade item, as customers utilise it due to several reasons. Homemade items do not offer huge competition towards the food giants like Unilever.

Table 2: Porter’s five forces


Customer Segmentation

Metrics Evaluation and key Variables Current Customers 
Demographic Here, the company will aim the consumers in terms of schooling, maturity, family size and gender. It will allow the company move from “wasteful” mass marketing to one-to-one brand building. To perform that, the company will utilise more than 1 billion customer IDs, and then, do the propensity marketing with people, who have the same characteristics (Vizard, 2019). Here, they mainly target the people aged 18 to 35.
Behavioural Key variables are patterns, chances and usage rate. As people are using social media frequently, the company will promote their products on the digital site. To do that, the company will gather the customers, and know their demands and requirements, which they desire from Unilever Foods. Once they get rid of this, they product will enlarge the revenue.
Psychographic Here, main variables are motives, personality and lifestyles. As the growth of Dirt, Knorr and Dove is showing good interest, the company has enough knowledge about the motives and lifestyles of people. To do this, Unilever Foods has to collect the valuable data about the people in Namibia and then decide how they will sell the items and what item should be perfect.
Geographic Here, Windhoek will be targeting by the company, as it is the capital city of Namibia. Along with, it connects Namibia with the trading centres like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana (Gilliland, 2016). The company has to find this particular region. For being a new entrant, they may not target the whole country. Within Windhoek, Unilever Foods will grab the attention of people aged 18 to 35 and make more profits out of them.

Table 3: Market Segmentation of Unilever


Summary of Macro and Micro Analysis to represent opportunities or threats

Macro and microanalysis support the company in assessing its threats or opportunities in a certain market. Here, Pestel analysis is used to find the probable trends in the external environment that may decide the business strategy, so that Unilever Foods adopts it. Here, threats change from the labour rate and inflation rate, and the company should care about those economic factors (Warc, 2016). The macro-environment factors include media, suppliers, investors, customers, competitors and employees. Porter’s five forces supported Unilever Foods in assessing the microenvironment factors.

Capabilities and Resources of the company

Key Resources

Physical resources Unilever foods will make significant investment within R&D, as they offer premium food service to the people in Namibia. For their kitchen factory, metal is essential resources.
HR resources Unilever foods are estimated as one of the biggest tech workers within the world.  It will anticipate that the company may appoint more than 70,000 workers to do their business in Namibia (Humanresourcesedu, 2018).
Financial resources The operating cash flow of the company will expect to be $5.6 billion for FY21.

Table 4: Key resources

Key Capabilities

One of the main capabilities of Unilever Foods will be to make sustainable living commonplace. The company also tries to consume the food items more and more. Through long-term connections with customers, stakeholders, and suppliers, Unilever Foods will be creating an exceptional thing in the Namibia market.

McKinsey’s 7S Framework

Strategy Strategy following in Unilever foods will be exceptional to get the competitive edge within the Namibia market. As the company implements a segment style, it will be beneficial to recognise the demands and needs of market.
Structure The business structure of Unilever Foods is organised sufficiently, as the competitive edge will be acquired by them within the marketplace. The latest technology is used by this food industry to be accountable within the market (McKinsey & Company, 2008).
System In case of Unilever foods, the company properly develops efficient business activities.
Shared values This is the norms and standards to direct the workers within a proper direction.
Staffs Here, staff are talented and skilful, as they are always ready to resolve the issues of customers and deliver a high level of production for Unilever foods. The HR management needs to inspire them by offering rewards and leaves.
Style Style mainly indicates the aspect, which Unilever will manage by their top-level leaders or managers.
Skills Skills indicate the abilities of workers, managers and leaders, which may essential for the company. They should have proper knowledge and skills about the activities of Unilever foods (Rick De Vlieger, 2013).

Table 5: McKinsey’s framework

VRIN Framework

Resources Valuable Imitable Rare Competitive advantage
Financial resources No No No Temporary
Employees Yes Yes No Permanent
Technology and infrastructure Yes No Yes Permanent
Human resource management Yes Yes Yes Permanent
Marketing Yes No No Temporary
Brand image Yes Yes No Temporary

Table 6: VRIN Model

The maximum competitive advantage to Unilever foods can be obtained from their technological support because it helps them to expand their reach in the Namibia market. The resources like employees will include value by allowing Unilever Foods to find the chances or develop the strategies to defend the threats. Advanced technology and proper infrastructure are rare resources, as the company will use the same structure to attain superior performance in Namibia (Jurevicius, 2013). HR management has all three conditions like valuable, imitable and rare, as it supports the company to attain a competitive edge in any market. The brand image of the company is also giving them a temporary advantage because there are several emerging industries are originating in Namibia, which make satisfactory performance in market.


Proposed Strategy



· Due to major size, the company has manufactured 400 brands in 190 nations.

· Appoints 170,000 workers and invests 900 million euro on R&D

·  Strong brand reputation and utilisation of advanced technology

· Diverse work culture within the workplace


· Relatively low venture in R&D, as compare to the competitors

· Most of the products are delivered into local area

·  Price of the products

· Excessive reliance on the food products and services


· Here, social media provides considerable opportunities to Unilever

· Develop the latest product line and refine the existing ones

· Preferring the demands and needs of customers



· The product portfolio of Unilever is not exceptional, as compared to the competitors

· In the Namibia market, Nestle have already do their business with the same business models and product lines

· Prices of food items enhanced exponentially, and it represents a major threat for the company

Table 7: SWOT analysis


In the Namibia market, Unilever Foods will offer Breyer’s Natural Vanilla at a premium price. Besides, it is an original vanilla ice cream and made with non-GMO sourced ingredients. Due to its distinctive taste, it brings out natural bitterness in the fruit desserts such as Apple Pie or Peach Cobbler. Here, the company may utilise the digital media platform to promote its items easily. By setting the price, Unilever will deliver this unique item to the people of Namibia.


Objective 1: To enhance the profit margins of this product by 18% by the end of FY2 in the Namibia market

  • Timeline: 3-4 months
  • Opportunity: The major opportunity is that they will estimate the demands of the customers. In the next quarter, the company try to include special things in this item.

Objective 2: To maximise the base of customers by 13.5% in the second quarter of 2021

  • Timeline: 3-4 months
  • Opportunity: Here, the company will acquire the feedback, and set the price and quality of the products regarding the people of Namibia

Objective 3:

  • Timeline: To promote the product within a particular aged people by the end of FY21
  • Opportunity: Specifically, the company will target a particular base of people, and it will be beneficial for their product lines.


Strategic Marketing Plan


Target market involves the company breaking its promotional activities into several segments, and then Unilever Foods will develop its efforts based on the needs and requirements of people. Here, their management will target mainly people, aged 18 to 35, as they desire to eat the ice cream in their dessert menu (Feature, 2012). The company will deliver their item in Windhoek, as it is the capital city of Namibia. Here, the market is also famous for high-value products.


In the case of Unilever Foods, the goal is clear, and it indicates that the company will be beneficial by offering the product at the lowest price. In terms of measurements, the company will surely track the achievement. It is attainable and motivates the employees in an effective manner (Feature, 2012). The goal selected by Unilever Foods would be pertinent in the selected field.


4Ps of Marketing Mix

PriceIn the case of Unilever, the company will try to sell the product at the lowest charge. The charge of Breyer’s Natural Vanilla is $7, as all types of people easily purchase the items. Here, the company will select the dynamic pricing strategy, as it is a flexible strategy where the prices fluctuate based on the customer’s demand and market situation (Hughes, 2018). A proper algorithm in this strategy allows Unilever foods to shift the charges to match what and when the customer is willing to purchase.

Product– The item is made of Real milk and RFA vanilla. Due to its association with American dairy companies, the company will include 100% Grade Milk and Cream in its items. Along with this, the company will offer healthy items to the people of Namibia, and maintain their lifestyle. The company will utilise the ingredients that offer consistency, nutritional value and favour to their customers (Kotler et al., 2019).

Promotion For being a new entrant, the company must utilise a digital platform, where they easily endorse their product. Here, people know about the product and its charge (AltexSoft, 2019). The online platform will support Unilever Foods to reach the maximum number of customers within a short time.

Place- in Namibia, the company will select Windhoek to deliver their item. Here, their management easily delivers the product to large-base customers. They easily expand their business in the Namibia market.

Budget of the product

List of items Amount
Celebrity endorsement $1,500
Decoration and venue expenses $1000
Promotional activity $1500
Sitting arrangements for the press event $500
Total $3500

 Table 8: Budget


In the case of Unilever, the company should effectively train their employees, as they deal with the challenges. They also offer proper learning and corporate opportunities to their workers. In the case of Unilever Foods, it will take SWOT analysis to exploit the threats and opportunities. However, Risk response planning would allow the company to capitalise on their strengths and keep away from the weaknesses, as it is a structured and commonsense approach to deal with uncertainties. It also allows the management to develop the solution, rather than waiting for the threats. Physical and human resources exist to integrate this strategy within the company (Simkin and Dibb, 2013). However, the company has to align their purpose with the innovation, as it supports reaching an indeterminable set of outcomes.


  • The first milestone will check the product’s condition and services of Unilever, so that better production lines may be implemented in Unilever
  • The second milestone will be to endorse the sustainable environment of Unilever, as the essential activities may be taken
  • The third milestone will develop to finalise the charge of product, as they may expect the revenue

By taking a sales analysis, the company will assess the total revenue of Breyer’s Natural Vanilla in Namibia, and recognise its strengths and weaknesses. In the case of market share analysis, the company will contrast their product with competitors in Namibia. Breyer’s Natural Vanilla will try to enhance its market share by 2021 Q4 by 15.6% (Breyers, 2020). The company will also take ratio analysis, and here, if Unilever Foods will be taking loans from the invested, then this analysis determines how much amount will be returned by Unilever.

Here, the company will use ARPU (Average revenue per user), as it enables their management to estimate the revenue generated per user annually or monthly. In case of Unilever foods, the company may utilise this tool while changing their price or roll out a promotion.



AltexSoft (2019) 15 Key Product Management Metrics and KPIsAltexSoft. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Breyers (2020) Natural Vanilla Ice Cream | Breyers® Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Feature, P. (2012) Windhoek – a food processing and transport hubHow We Made It In Africa. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Frue, K. (2017) PESTLE Analysis of UnileverPESTLE Analysis. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Gilliland, N. (2016) How Unilever is targeting the ‘conscious consumer’ – EconsultancyEconsultancy. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Hughes, J. (2018) How to Set SMART Goals (With 5 Examples)Elegant Themes. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Humanresourcesedu (2018) What is Human Resources | HR | What is Human Resource Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Jurevicius, O. (2013) Is the VRIO Framework a Key to Competitive Advantage?Strategic Management Insight. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Kotler, P., Keller, K.L., Brady, M., Goodman, M. and Hansen, T., (2019). Marketing management. Pearson UK.

Living, S. (2019) Reducing environmental impactUnilever global company website. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

McKinsey & Company (2008) Enduring Ideas: The 7-S FrameworkMcKinsey & Company. Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).

Mmaglobal (2016) MMA Case Study Hub | Finding Chinese Available at: (Accessed: 29 April 2020).


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Strategy case Study - Unilever Foods Entry in Namibia
One of the main capabilities of Unilever Foods will be to make sustainable living commonplace. The company also tries to consume the food items more and more. Through long-term connections with customers, stakeholders, and suppliers, Unilever Foods will be creating an exceptional thing in the Namibia market.
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