Unilever Unveils Game-Changing Fragrance Transparency Initiative

Multinational consumer goods company Unilever announced a new transparency measure today that will provide consumers with access to additional fragrance ingredient information for its personal care products.

The measure goes above and beyond current FDA requirements, which currently allow companies to use the word “fragrance” on personal care product labels in lieu of listing the names of the actual chemicals used. This year Unilever will begin to voluntarily expand its current product ingredient list available through SmartLabel™ to include the fragrance ingredients in a product’s formulation above 0.01 percent (100 parts per million). The company aims to complete the updates by the end of 2018.

“We believe this initiative will help consumers know more about the products they use every day and built further trust for their favorite Unilever personal care products,” said Tamara Rogers, EVP Personal Care, Unilever United States.

Unilever is also launching a “What’s in Our Products” section on their webpage that provides additional product information, including its approach to developing safe products, explanations of ingredient types, answers to common questions, and access to SmartLabel™.

“Transparency is fundamental to running a sustainable business,” said Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever North America. “Through SmartLabel and What’s in Our Products, we are meeting the needs of our consumers who are increasingly mobile, online and actively searching for products that are made responsibly and sustainably.”

Currently, Unilever products in Europe are labelled with fragrance allergens in line with European Union regulations. The company will expand this to its full US personal care portfolio and the new online search tool will allow people with allergies to find suitable products to meet their needs.

“Unilever’s action is a game-changer for transparency in the personal care product market, and we expect other major companies to follow suit,” said EWG President and Co-Founder Ken Cook. “

“With this impressive display of leadership, Unilever has broken open the black box of fragrance chemicals and raised the bar for transparency across the entire personal care products industry — and beyond. It may not happen overnight, but Unilever’s watershed actions will place enormous pressure on the rest of the market to respond and make it very difficult for other companies to shield their fragrance ingredients from consumers.”

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