Logo for Dutch-British food-to-household products giant Unilever.
Logo for Dutch-British food-to-household products giant Unilever. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

The European company Unilever is a giant food and household goods company. Here in the U.S. it owns brands like Hellman's, Lipton, Vaseline and Dove. Unilever is even more dominant in Europe.

Its top European official said something very provocative in a new interview with the Financial Times Deutschland. He said poverty has come back to southern Europe -- and the company will approach consumers there using techniques from developing countries.

Gerard Rijk is a food and beverage analyst with ING in Amsterdam. He says the techniques will include reducing the packaging sizes of products to make those products more affordable for customers on tight budgets.

But won't European be insulted to be treated like people in developing countries? Rijk doesn't think so. "It just makes life easier for them," he says.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Jeff Horwich at @jeffhorwich