Flora Pro.Activ is one of Unilever’s most successful innovation launches ever.

Since its launch, the premium range of heart-healthy margarines and spreads has expanded into other formats, and is now available in over 30 countries worldwide.


However, in recent years, the brand has come under increasing pressure to stand out from the crowd.

With the rising trend for functional foods, regulations on health claims have become much stricter – meaning the market has been flooded with legal jargon. As a result, consumers are increasingly confused over what claims they can or can’t believe, and what really works.

This prompted a need for the brand to re-establish its point of difference, and leadership in the category. 

Working alongside Design Bridge, the brand devised a number of new positioning territories and designs that aimed to enhance communication of Pro.Activ’s active ingredient (plant sterols) and in doing so, provide better understanding of how the product works and why it is worth paying more for.

As part of this project, we at The Big Picture undertook multiple rounds of consumer research, in four markets, to validate the optimal direction for the brand to go in.

We used a mixed, behavioural methodology, to understand how the designs performed in the two systems of thinking consumers shop in – fast and intuitive (System 1) vs. slow and considered (System 2).

Through this we gained insight into how the brand could best cut through at shelf, and clearly communicate Pro.Activ’s active ingredient and cholesterol-lowering benefits.


Proactiv 1

The outcome is an updated design that speaks a language of efficacy, naturalness and science.

Through the introduction of scientific semiotics, the brand conveys its efficacy – yet does so in a way that reinvigorates Pro.Activ’s premium position within the market. The design also heroes its active ingredient, and clarifies the end product benefit – lowering cholesterol. A simple, yet effective design, that aims to speak the language heart-health conscious consumers identify with.