Vegan margarine advertising
Becky was kind enough to let me use this photo she took on a recent day out and about.
Check it out.
I find this fascinating on so many levels.
Maybe I should break it down into smaller pieces of information. I do have a tendency to ramble.
- It is marvellous to see The Vegan Society trademark used so prominently in a mainstream advertising campaign. It might be the first time I have ever seen it in an advert of this magnitude and I find this sort of exposure exciting
- I think the advert using the vegan symbol shows how differently corporations are treating veganism. It is being seen as a serious concern with direct links to making profit.
- I don’t like that the whole vegan and #poweredbyplants angle has been linked solely to a low carbon footprint. Where are the animals in this narrative? Is veganism being used to greenwash the campaign without recognising what being vegan means? Is veganism the ultimate greenwashing tool for corporations?
- Unilever is behind this product. There continue to be concerns surrounding the business dealings of this mind-bogglingly huge conglomerate, including how workers at its margarine factory in the UK are treated. You can read more about this topic here and how a union celebrated news of UK workers being paid a living wage (with the increase being rolled out across 18 months). Unilever has been praised by Oxfam for improving some of its dealings (including commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil) but the charity reports areas of concern include workers not being paid a living wage in all countries where Unilever operates and that the company needs to develop an understanding of women being more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse within the supplier chain. If you are interested in reading more about ethical concerns and advances related to Unilever, click here.
The positive to take from this new product is that affordable vegan sandwich spread is now available to everyone in the UK. I think while we celebrate this fact, it is also important to keep thinking about how we as consumers can ask for our vegan products to be made with greater consideration to workers. No point having a fab vegan product if someone is suffering away for next to no money, right? And I haven’t even touched on the well-known links between Unilever and animal testing.
Has anyone tasted it? What’s it like?
It’s not as nice as this stuff:
It’s good, but Pure is vegan and has been widely available for years.
They’re using the ‘powered by plants’ tagline for all of their products now, pretty much, in a typical display of greenwashing, as Unilever has been doing a lot of lately. I actually think it’s cheeky and misleading; they say they put butter into the non-vegan spreads ‘for taste’, so I’m wondering how much that says about the dairy free spread?!
Very interesting article. 🙂
Oh, and it tastes fine, if a little bland perhaps. But certainly no unpleasant aftertastes. I can’t compare it to other brands cos I more or less gave up using spreads on bread etc. Olive oil ftw.
Have fun 🙂
They can try all they like but while I appreciate the fact that a vegan item is getting air play ( the ad is now running on tv) at the end of the day it’s made by unilever and I try to avoid their products due to animal testing. So unless they stop animal testing I will avoid all their products including any other vegan items they bring out.