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Unilever, Tesco and In Kind Direct extend charity partnership


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Following the success of their first campaign last year, Tesco and Unilever have committed to a long-term partnership to support In Kind Direct and their network of charitable organisations, with donations of essential hygiene products this year.

A store shelf with hygiene products, showcasing an In Kind Direct campaign to help with hygiene poverty.

17.03.2023: Unilever, Tesco and In Kind Direct have launched the second phase of their ongoing partnership to help families struggling with hygiene poverty in the UK.

Research conducted last year by In Kind Direct found that almost half of low-income households have had to go without hygiene products because they can no longer afford them1.

Responding to the growing need to support charities and households across the UK, the partnership brings together the in-store activation expertise of Unilever and reach of their household brands, Tesco’s scale, store footprint and online reach, and the distribution network of In Kind Direct, to raise awareness of hygiene poverty and significantly boost donations for In Kind Direct and their network.

Running until 7th March 2023 in-store and online, when Tesco shoppers purchase two selected personal care products, from Dove, Radox, TRESemmé and Simple, Unilever will donate one on their behalf. The items will then be distributed by In Kind Direct to charitable organisations at the heart of local communities across the UK, including foodbanks, community centres and family welfare associations.

Over 400,000 products were donated when the initiative first ran throughout September and October last year, which supported over 1,391 charities. This year, the campaign is back and building on insight from the previous activity on how to make sure consumer engagement is at an all-time high, the promotion will move from free standing units (FSU) to the prominent gondola end position at 365 Tesco stores across the UK. POS and branding will feature in-store and online for maximum impact, with a clear and actionable message for shoppers.

In Kind Direct work with charitable organisations and companies to ensure everyone has access to the products they need to keep clean and well. They receive donated products, which they sort, store and distribute to thousands of local charitable organisations in their network, who are being increasingly relied upon in their local communities, but are having to support more people with fewer resources.

In Kind Direct’s recent survey showed that 86% of charitable organisations report the need for their services has increased in recent months and 72% say they will be focusing on supporting people experiencing hygiene poverty over the next 6 months2.

Chris Barron, General Manager Personal Care UK&I, Unilever, said: “Following the impact of our first hygiene poverty campaign in partnership with Tesco and In Kind Direct last year, it's great to have launched our second campaign already and to share our commitment to working together over the coming years to respond to the growing issue of hygiene poverty and to supporting those who are most vulnerable."

“We know that together we can do more. By each bringing the insight and expertise of our teams to this campaign and partnership, we can take a more holistic approach to tackling hygiene poverty. Our campaign raises further awareness of this growing issue with Tesco shoppers across the UK whilst ensuring more donations of essential hygiene products are reaching the local charities in the In Kind Direct network throughout the year.”

Oonagh Turnbull, Head of Health Campaigns, Tesco, said: “At Tesco, supporting the communities we serve is key to our purpose and now, more than ever, it’s important that we work closely with charities and our supply partners to help make a real difference for people who need it most. It is worrying that hygiene poverty is a growing issue for many in the UK and we are very pleased to be working with Unilever and In Kind Direct again on this crucial campaign that will help so many young people and families with vital hygiene supplies in the coming months.”

Paul Buchanan, Interim CEO, In Kind Direct, said: “Waking up feeling unclean has such a negative impact on a person’s mental wellbeing and self-esteem. It’s understandable that many people begin to avoid social contact, children start to skip school and people turn to missing days at work when they are having to go without essential products like soap and shampoo. We have seen unprecedented demand for these personal hygiene products from our network, with 81% reporting that the need for these items has increased in recent months. We know that around 8m adults are expected to be living in hygiene poverty this winter3."

“We’re committed to helping as many people as we can, but the numbers are growing rapidly. We are very proud to be working with companies like Unilever and Tesco, not only to supply products to where they are needed, but to raise awareness of hygiene poverty and tackle the stigma associated with it, so more people feel comfortable asking for, and providing support.’’


Findings commissioned by In Kind Direct. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,069 adults, 245 of which have had to go without a hygiene product this year. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 22nd August 2022 and carried out online. All figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


In Kind Direct Network Impact Survey (Jan 23), 689 responses analysed


The Hygiene Bank: Hygiene Poverty 2022. Prepared by YouGov: Briony Gunstone, Kate Gosschalk, Matthew Stoker, Mariana Owen, Ewa Zabicka and Lois Harmer. October 2022.

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