In an ongoing effort to improve its commitment to sustainable practices, Unilever — the world’s third-largest consumer goods company after Procter & Gamble and Nestlé — has launched an all-new, dramatically simplified formula for its popular I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spread.
Earlier ingredients like EDTA and potassium sorbate (preservatives), and mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids (preservatives) have been removed for a significantly shorter and recognizable ingredient list: purified water, soybean oil, palm kernel and palm oil, salt, lecithin (soy), natural flavors, vinegar, vitamin A palmitate, and beta carotene for color.
The new formulation contains no artificial preservatives, is the first of Unilever’s spreads to be made with non-GMO sourced ingredients, and represents the consumer goods company’s awareness of changing consumer interests and attention to issues of sustainability.
What’s more, Unilever has pledged that it will continue to simplify and better-source across its other buttery spreads brands, including Country Crock, Brummel & Brown, and Imperial, in 2015.
"The new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is the start of a complete category transformation that will help us grow the buttery spreads business,” said Mike Faherty, vice president of Unilever Foods North America. “It is also consistent with the types of innovation you can continue to expect from our Unilever foods brands."
In addition to recognizing that the need for sustainable practices is of increasing importance, the company has pledged to make its production more sustainable.
By 2017, Unilever aims to sustainably source 100 percent of its soybean oil across its entire spread portfolio, and will do so domestically, using exclusively American farms. Following the transformation of its portfolio, the company will redesign packaging to be more space-efficient, recyclable, and reusable, which would remove approximately 552,000 pounds of plastic from the waste stream per year.
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.