Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Euronext Amsterdam  >  Unilever N.V.    UNAT   NL0000388619

UNILEVER N.V.

(UNAT)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
SummaryMost relevantAll NewsPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener StrategiesAnalyst Recommendations

Unilever : Patent Filings Reveal Companies Embracing Microalgae For Sustainable Foods

11/23/2020 | 11:13am EST

This week, food giant Unilever announced a €1bn annual sales target for plant-based foods within the next 5-7 years, as part of its "Future Foods" program. This ambitious target is expected to be driven by sales under The Vegetarian Butcher brand, as well as vegan varieties of Ben & Jerry's, Wall's, Hellman's and Magnum.

So, what will be the source of the plant-based fats and proteins needed to support this growth? Vegan Magnums contain pea protein and coconut oil, non-dairy Ben & Jerry's is made using almond milk, while vegan Cornettos and products in The Vegan Butcher range are based on soy. However, given some of the environmental issues posed by dairy alternatives, such as the high water consumption of almond plants, how sustainable is long-term growth based on these types of proteins?

Unilever is obviously already considering the sustainability of its plant-based offerings, having recently partnered with UK-based algal biotechnology firm Algenuity. The founders of Algenuity have filed an international patent application (published as WO2020/105001) directed to a modified strain of Chlorella vulgaris having a reduced chlorophyll content, and a composition comprising an algae biomass derived from the modified strain. The reduction in chlorophyll is said to overcome the problem of the strong colour, taste and smell normally associated with this microalgal species, making it more suitable for use in foods. Two further applications were filed earlier this year in the UK for modified strains of Chlorella vulgaris.

Microalgae are microscopic, unicellular organisms which convert CO2 into useful nutrients. Given their low carbon footprint and ability to be cultured to a high density, microalgae have gained considerable interest for use in biofuels, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and as food ingredients, with the global microalgae market estimated to exceed 75 million USD by 2027*. 

It is therefore unsurprising that Unilever isn't the only corporate giant which has recognised the potential of microalgae, and the patent literature reveals other key players taking an interest in the microalgae market. Glaxosmithkline Biologicals has filed a patent application (WO2020/178720), jointly with Washington University, for a nutraceutical composition which may comprise spirulina (microalgae of the Arthospira genus), for improving health and boosting the immune system. Mitsubishi-backed Japanese start-up Tavelmout Corporation is also focussing on mass-produced spirulina as a source of sustainable protein. Like Algenuity, the company seeks to provide foods and beverages which don't suffer from the characteristic taste and smell of algae, and its pending patent (WO2019/102732) is directed to a culturing process which comprises a decolouration step. Of course, the benefits of microalgae are not limited to foods for human consumption; Mars is seeking patent protection (WO2018/125631) for the use of algal biomass to replace animal plasma as a pet food binder. 

As well as an increase in patent filings for microalgae-based products and process in the food tech field, the next few years will likely see more collaborations between big corporates and smaller biotech firms or universities who have specialised knowledge of microalgal strains and culture conditions. This know-how is another valuable source of IP, since the ability to efficiently scale-up microalgae production and incorporate biomass into food compositions while retaining desirable taste and textural properties will be critical to the success of new products. Companies who optimise their IP strategy so as to protect key innovations and strains through patents, while also being able to offer their know-how in collaborations with food giants, will be best placed to capitalize in this growing field.

*Data Bridge Market Research

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Ms Jennifer Bailey
HGF Ltd
1 City Walk
Leeds
LS11 9DX
UK
Tel: 113233 0100
Fax: 113233 0101
E-mail: Lcurtis@hgf.com
URL: www.hgf.com

© Mondaq Ltd, 2020 - Tel. +44 (0)20 8544 8300 - http://www.mondaq.com, source Business Briefing

All news about UNILEVER N.V.
01/15UNILEVER : How we're working with WWF to restore valuable forest ecosystems
PU
01/14Multinationals urge OECD to simplify cross-border tax plans
RE
01/14FOOD & BEVERAGE CLASS ACTIONS : What You Need To Know For 2021
AQ
01/14UNILEVER PLC : UBS reiterates its Sell rating
MD
01/14UNILEVER : CEO Says No 'Major Setbacks' Expected in Near-Term Margins
MT
01/14Unilever gets vaccine partnership offers as it plots worker safety strategy
RE
01/14Unilever says global consumption will remain depressed in first half of year
RE
01/13MARKET CHATTER : Unilever Reportedly Sees Global Consumption to Remain Down in H..
MT
01/13Unilever gets vaccine partnership offers as it plots worker safety strategy
RE
01/13FOOD & BEVERAGE FALSE ADVERTISING AN : What You Need To Know For 2021
AQ
More news
Financials
Sales 2020 50 329 M 60 772 M 60 772 M
Net income 2020 5 823 M 7 031 M 7 031 M
Net Debt 2020 22 338 M 26 972 M 26 972 M
P/E ratio 2020 21,7x
Yield 2020 3,36%
Capitalization 130 B 157 B 157 B
EV / Sales 2020 3,02x
EV / Sales 2021 2,96x
Nbr of Employees 149 867
Free-Float 63,0%
Chart UNILEVER N.V.
Duration : Period :
Unilever N.V. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends UNILEVER N.V.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBearishNeutralNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 19
Average target price 4 756,52 GBX
Last Close Price 4 394,00 GBX
Spread / Highest target 25,2%
Spread / Average Target 8,25%
Spread / Lowest Target -34,0%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Alan Jope Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Nils Smedegaard Andersen Chairman
Nitin Paranjpe Chief Operating Officer
Graeme David Pitkethly Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Richard Slater Chief Research & Development Officer
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
UNILEVER N.V.-0.80%156 692
THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY-3.13%334 201
UNILEVER PLC0.05%156 692
THE ESTÉE LAUDER COMPANIES INC.-6.07%90 087
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED-1.74%75 543
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY-4.25%70 185