Unilever Announces Flavor Challenge Winner

Unilever Announces Flavor Challenge Winner

National Culinary Challenge Celebrates Hispanics’ Love of Cooking as Unilever Brands asked Hispanics to ‘Take the Desafio’


Englewood Cliffs, NJ–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–December 18, 2006–Placing the spotlight on Hispanics’ love of cooking, Unilever is proud to announce that Fernando Fuentes of Chicago has won Desafio del Sabor, a national progressive cooking competition. Back in March, Unilever challenged Hispanics to “step-up-to-the-plate” and participate in the first annual Desafio del Sabor (The Flavor Challenge).

“Desafio del Sabor speaks directly to the hearts of Hispanics,” stated Ricardo A. Martinez, Director Multicultural Marketing, Unilever United States. “With Desafio del Sabor, we aligned our consumer insights, our brands and our market outreach to effectively reach Hispanic consumers and we’re very excited about kicking off the contest again in 2007.”

The grand prize winner was announced at the end of a fast-paced cook-off finale that aired on Galavisión, the nation’s leading Spanish-language cable television network, on December 16, during which Fernando prepared the winning dish Fish Filets ‘a lo macho.’ Fernando won $10,000, a trip for four to the “Premio Lo Nuestro a La Musica Latina” Latin music awards show, VIP and Red Carpet treatment, the opportunity to appear on national television and have a featured recipe in Unilever’s upcoming recipe book, Vive Mejor (Live Better). The two other TV finalists were as follows: María de Jesus Villapudua of Los Angeles and Marcela Henriquez of Miami. Second Place winners (not featured on TV) were Felipe Galeano of Houston and Edith Gomez of New York.

To enter Desafio del Sabor, Hispanic consumers submitted recipes that included at least one of the participating Unilever brands at storefront events across the nation. Selected participants then competed by cooking in the Desafio del Sabor regional challenges taking place at major Hispanic festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago and Houston.

Participating brands included Knorr, Hellmann’s, Lipton Tea, Ragu, Lawry’s, WishBone, Lipton Sides, Country Crock, Lipton Noodle Soup and Skippy. The contest was supported by a major multi-media, integrated communication campaign that included network and local broadcasts as well as online promotions, Hispanic festivals, storefront events, print, FSI, POS, coupons and promotional items. Complete registration and contest details can be found at http://www.desafiodelsabor.com.

Unilever U.S. & Univision Communications Inc. Partnership

Unilever forged a strategic relationship for this campaign with Univision Communications Inc., the leading Spanish-language media company in the United States, and parent company of Galavisión, and plans to launch the contest again in 2007. Desafio del Sabor comes on the heels of Unilever’s expansion of its multicultural marketing operations. In the past year, the company has created an internal multicultural business unit and is investing heavily in understanding Hispanic consumer’s shopping, cooking, eating and general lifestyle habits. These changes have brought Unilever among the nation’s top corporations targeting Hispanics.

Ingrid Hoffmann Hosts Finale

The finale was hosted by charismatic Colombian chef Ingrid Hoffmann, star of “Delicioso,” a dynamic cooking and lifestyle show, which also airs on Galavisión, Saturday and Sunday 11:30 am. – 12 noon. The panel of celebrity judges included Raúl de Molina, host of “El Gordo y La Flaca” on the Univision Network; Marisa del Portillo, host of “Escándalo TV” on the TeleFutura Network; and Chef Dennis Ortiz, Instructor at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

“Desafio del Sabor was a great opportunity to host a program that celebrates the creation of a meal in the true Hispanic tradition,” said Hoffmann. “It was exciting to see the talented finalists, who share such an enjoyment and passion for cooking, prepare their own dishes in this wonderful cook-off.”

About Unilever

Unilever [NYSE: UL, UN], one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, “all,” Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Knorr, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Snuggle, Suave, Sunsilk and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever in the United States employs approximately 15,000 people in 66 office and manufacturing sites in 24 states and Puerto Rico– generating more than $9 billion in sales in 2005. For more information visit http://www.unileverusa.com.

Unilever Announces Flavor Challenge Winner