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    Unilever Sponsors National Cooking Challenge for Hispanic Consumers

    MIAMI and ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- With more than 70 percent of Hispanics reporting confidence in their cooking abilities, Unilever and 10 of its food brands are asking Hispanics to show off those skills in a national cooking contest called Desafio del Sabor, or The Flavor Challenge, and featuring in-store events as a major component.

    MIAMI and ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- With more than 70 percent of Hispanics reporting confidence in their cooking abilities, Unilever and 10 of its food brands are asking Hispanics to show off those skills in a national cooking contest called Desafio del Sabor, or The Flavor Challenge, and featuring in-store events as a major component.

    Unilever said Desafio del Sabor is a progressive cooking competition that puts the spotlight on Hispanics' love of home cooking, and of cooking for fun. This campaign is the largest-ever Hispanic outreach effort for Unilever's food brands.

    The brands, Ragu, Knorr, Hellmann's, Lipton Tea, Lawry's, WishBone, Lipton Sides, Country Crock, Lipton Noodle Soup, and Skippy are supporting the contest with a major integrated communication campaign that includes, network TV, local TV, local radio, public relations, online, Hispanic festivals and events, retailtainment at storefront events, print, FSI, POS, coupons, and promotional items. Unilever will also give shoppers a copy of VivaMejor, a healthy living and recipe booklet.

    Unilever has forged a strategic relationship with Univision and several other media outlets for the effort. The company is also collaborating with The Art Institutes, through its Culinary Arts Program, which will supply bilingual culinary students to help provide skilled demonstrations and tastings at stores. Unilever will award $50,000 to support scholarships to Hispanic culinary students at The Art Institutes.

    Desafio del Sabor comes on the heels of Unilever's expansion of its multicultural marketing operations. In the past year, the company created an internal multicultural business unit, and has invested in understanding Hispanic consumers' shopping, cooking, eating and general lifestyle habits.

    "With this campaign we are aligning our consumer insights, our brands, and our market outreach to effectively reach Hispanic consumers," said Ricardo A. Martinez, director multicultural marketing, Unilever United States, in a statement. "That old saying about getting to the heart through the stomach rings especially true for Hispanics. Hispanics spend nearly twice as much time preparing home-cooked meals than other consumers, and they do it because they want to and because they desire to please their families."

    To enter Desafio del Sabor, Hispanic consumers submit recipes that include at least one of the participating Unilever brands at storefront events across the nation. Selected participants will then compete by cooking in the Desafio del Sabor regional challenges taking place at major Hispanic festivals in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, and Houston. The winners from each of these regional events will compete in a nationally televised cook-off on two Univision networks. Complete registration and contest details can be found at http://www.desafiodelsabor.com.

    The grand prize winner will win $10,000, a trip for four to the "Premio Lo Nuestro a La Musica Latina" award show with VIP and Red Carpet treatment, the opportunity to appear on national television after the contest, and have a featured recipe in Unilever's upcoming recipe book. Additional cash prizes will be awarded to other winners and contestants.

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