Unilever: The power of algae Contest Ended

Envision a future where the world is fed sustainably with algae.

Start September 02, 2016 End September 18, 2016 23:59 UTC Deliberation Results November 2016
September 02, 2016
September 18, 2016 23:59 UTC
November 2016


Do you know that the global population is anticipated to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050?

It means that in the next 50 years, we will have to produce more food than has been produced over the past 10,000 years. Malnutrition is already an issue, and a future increase in the population will make resource scarcity a bigger problem for the planet.

With more than 20 international brands used by 2 billion people every day, Unilever can claim they “feed the world”. This is a huge responsibility that they take seriously. Unilever is engaged to feed the world in a sustainable and nutritious way.

Algae is the mother of all plants and earth's original superfood. Algae is an ingredient that is sustainable – it grows fast, uses only 3% of the land and 2% of the water that land crops use, and nutritious – it contains proteins, vitamins, minerals and omega3. It can be used as an ingredient for food products in the form of algae oil, algae flour, or algae protein supplement. This is ideal for families both in developed and developing countries.

Unilever aims to create a new, full-of-taste food product range or new food products with algae as an ingredient that can feed consumers nutritiously and sustainably all around the world.  

Do you want to help envision a future where algae food can feed the world?


Creative Challenge

Invent a food product that uses algae as one of its key ingredients (algae oil, algae flour, or algae protein), in order to fit with Unilever’s ambition to “feed the world” in a sustainable and nutritious way.

 Your idea should include a product (or full product range) idea, a pack proposition and the story behind the idea. By “story” we mean a short text explaining the idea and benefits of the product/product range to consumers in a simple way.

Your product idea should be a tasty food product (e.g. pasta, soup, condiments, spreads, dressings) – basically, anything that is eaten. It can’t be a beverage, nor can it be a baby food product.

We’re not looking for recipes! We’re looking for a product idea or a range of products, the brand that produces it and the supporting story. You can use one of Unilever’s existing food brands or invent a brand of your own. 

Your product should not be a niche product, i.e. something that only appeals to a small group of people (like breastfeeding mums, or people who lack vitamins for instance), nor should it be something very local (like something based on a Peruvian habit or a very specific Indian diet, for instance). The appeal of your idea should be broad, and anyone around the world could be tempted by it.

It’s very important that your idea fits in Unilever’s company ambition: To offer a revolutionary change in the world’s nutrition habits, with the global goal of “beating world hunger”. They deeply care about our planet and the wellbeing of families around the world.

Here is a bit of background about algae:

What is algae:

  • Algae: the mother of all plants and earth’s original superfood - Before there was chia, acai, kale and quinoa, there was algae: the origin of our food chain
  • Algae provides:
    • 2x more omegas than chia seeds
    • 9x more fiber than kale
    • 2x more protein than spinach

Algae is better for the planet:

  • Low Green House Gas footprint (lower GHG profile than nearly all major commercial plant oils and fats)
  • Low water consumption (lower water consumption than most major commercial plant oils and fats)
  • Low land use impact (greater oil yield per hectare than nearly all plant oils and fats, and equivalent to palm oil with no significant land use change)
  • No waste (leftover algae is used as an energy source)

Algae food application examples:

  • Algae oil could replace oils like sunflower, rapeseed or palm oil. Nutrition-wise, it is lower in saturated fat and higher in omegas.
  • Algae powder is a lipid powder that enables the creation of healthier products with indulgent taste and texture. This new healthier fat source allows you to reduce or replace dairy fats, oil and egg yolks.

And remember, one barrier to eating algae is often the taste, as people think it does not taste good. It’s not true, it has a neutral flavor.

We expect ideas that are well executed. The jury will be sensitive to the clarity of your idea, and great-quality execution increases your chances of winning.


The examples are only provided to illustrate our expectations. Please do not use them in your submission or it will be rejected.

An example that fits within the Knorr brand could be a pesto sauce with algae oil. It’s great for pasta, tastes super-good and is full of Omega3. The product is called: Knorr Algapesto! You would need to design the product and the pack and pitch your idea, and that could be an entry.

Another example could be a new brand called Spire that offers a full range of food products such as biscuits, dough and bread made with spirulina, a type of algae that contains proteins. They have a green color and taste of vanilla. You would need to design the product and the pack and pitch your idea, and that could be an entry.


Jury's Prize

  • #1 Prize €3,000
  • #2 Prize €1,500
  • #3 Prize €500


Use the template to create your idea.

Winning Criteria

Winning entries will be those that are applicable on a global scale, unique and different, and realistic to implement.


Guidelines for this contest

  • You can download Unilever’s brand logos in the toolkit as well as the template for your entry.
  • Easy ideas like replacing EDTA in mayonnaise or palm oil in spreads or with algae oil will not be enough and such ideas won’t be accepted.
  • Remember: your idea should be well executed. The quality of the design matters.
  • Stay in line with Unilever’s company mission to feed the world sustainably.
  • Entries should be in English.


  • Selected entries will be used on the Internet. Authorizations and licenses to use protected elements (incl. music, photos..) must be compatible with Internet broadcasting. You must be able to provide a written proof of these authorizations and licenses at any time.

eYeka standard guidelines

  • Do not show any personal details in the entry (name, contact number, e-mail address, etc.).
  • Keep the source files / working files of your entry until the winners have been announced as they may be needed.
  • Your participation must comply with the rules you accepted when you joined the contest.
  • Your entry has to be your own work to be considered into the contest. If you have included protected elements (music, photographs, designs, fonts, etc.), make sure to fill in the Legal Information section when you upload. You may be asked to provide the authorizations and licenses to use such elements.
  • You must be able to provide the written authorizations from each of the authors and actors who have contributed to the entry.
  • Do not depict sexual, violent, religious, political content or any illicit content as per the rules.
  • Any entry that fails to comply with these rules will not be considered for the contest.