Last September at the Positive Economy Forum, Nicolas Gausserès, director of Nutrition at Danone Nutricia Resarch, explained how Danone combines economic growth and public health

READ THE ARTICLE
Japan's victory at the Danone Nations Cup

The Danone Nations Cup ended up with the victory of the Japan Team yesterday after a great game against Paraguay!

READ MORE
Danone in Brazil

Danone sets its social medias on Brazilian time for the Danone Nations Cup final in São Paulo. All week long, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and intern medias will cover Danone’s presence in Brazil: download our new infographic!

READ MORE

NEWS

The last issue of our Letter to our Shareholders is online, find here new information for shareholders

READ MORE
Danone acquires an additional 21.75% equity interest in Centrale Laitière (Morocco)

Danone is to acquire an additional 21.75% interest in Centrale Laitière (Morocco) from SNI for an amount of €278 million.

READ MORE
Sales in the third quarter and first nine months of 2014

+6.9% organic growth in the third quarter. Solid underlying trends across all businesses. Full-year targets for 2014 confirmed.

READ MORE

NEWS

Danone announces plan to close plants in Casale Cremasco (Italy), Hagenow (Germany) and Budapest (Hungary)

READ MORE
Danone and Mengniu expand their strategic alliance to infant milk formula in China

Danone is to subscribe to a private placement by Yashili, one of China’s leading infant milk companies

READ MORE
SHARE
PRINT A+ A-
Version : 50

Our history

danone : 40 years of a unique trajectory

BSN

In 1966, Antoine Riboud created BSN by merging Boussois, France’s second-largest producer of flat glass, with Verreries Souchon-Neuvesel, the country’s top producer of glass bottles and jars. With 8,815 employees, BSN was a glassmaker on a European scale. In 1968, Antoine launched the first takeover bid for Saint-Gobain, a company three times the size of BSN. And while this bold move ultimately failed, the ensuing battle secured his place in French business history. Riboud’s next move was a strategic shift downstream from the glass bottles and jars produced by BSN—“from container to content.” A string of acquisitions followed, making BSN France’s leading beverage business with Evian, including Evian Solide (later Blédina baby food), and brewers Kronenbourg and Société Européenne de Brasseries. The group was now number one in mineral water, beer and infant food.

Danone

Danone was founded by Isaac Carasso in Barcelona in 1919. To treat the many local children suffering from intestinal disorders, he introduced yogurt —a product widely recognized for its health benefits in the Balkans, yet unknown in Spain at the time. Doctors in Barcelona prescribed yogurt for their patients because they were aware of research into lactic ferments by Nobel laureate and Pasteur Institute director Elie Metchnikoff. Clearly Danone was committed to healthy eating from the very start! Isaac named the new brand after his son Daniel, whose nickname in Catalan was “Danon”. Ten years later, Daniel himself rolled out the brand in France. To win over consumers, he emphasized health benefits but also worked hard to ensure that Danone yogurt tasted better than rival brands. During the German occupation of France in World War II, Daniel emigrated to the United States, where he founded Dannon in 1942. All three companies—Danone Spain, Danone France and Dannon— grew rapidly throughout the 1950s, and in 1967 Danone France merged with Fromageries Gervais to become France’s leading fresh dairy specialist.
2012
Over 50% of Danone’s sales were generated in emerging countries
In 1996 we had 9 business lines—Fresh Dairy Products, Waters, Biscuits, Sauces, Pastas, Cheeses, Ready-to-Eat Meals, Glass and Beer—worth €12.8bn. We headed into 2012 with just 4 business lines—Fresh Dairy Products, Waters, Baby Nutrition and Medical Nutrition—worth €19.3bn. And while 70% of 1996 sales came from Western Europe, emerging countries accounted for 51% in 2012.
2011
Deployment of Dan’Cares
Dan’Cares, our basic health care program, will reach more than 100,000 Danone employees by 2014, compensating for the lack of medical insurance in many emerging countries. In addition to promoting health, Dan’Cares represents significant social progress—and it’s a powerful way to attract employees, deepen their loyalty and engagement, and reduce absenteeism.
2010
Creation of Danone-Unimilk
With our acquisition of Unimilk in 2010, Russia has become Danone’s largest national market. A fast-growing company with strong brands like Prostokvashino, Unimilk has been an excellent performer, and integrating it into our group has created a powerful leader in the CIS. Danone is carving out the perfect position to grow on both of the region’s key market segments: innovative new dairy products, and traditional ones like kefir and crème fraîche.
2009
Creation of the Danone Ecosystem Fund
In 2009 Danone made an initial contribution of €100M to finance the Danone Ecosystem Fund. Today, 43 projects are active in some 20 countries. Focus areas include expanding dairy farming, local distribution systems, packaging recycling networks, personal services, and socio-economic development in the regions around our plants.
2008
Creation of the Danone Fund for Nature
In 1998, Danone signed the Ramsar International Convention on protecting wetlands. Ten years later we set up the Danone Fund for Nature to develop and provide funding for innovative carbon offset programs, and we have broadened the scope of these efforts by inviting other businesses to join us through the Livelihoods Fund, launched in 2011.
2007
Acquisition of Royal Numico
In 2007, Danone sold its Biscuits business to Kraft and acquired Royal Numico. A global leader in Baby and Medical Nutrition with more than a century in business, Numico had developed a portfolio of powerful brands that included Nutricia, Milupa and Cow & Gate, and its international presence in the Baby and Medical Nutrition markets also gave Danone a new driver for growth and profitability.
2006
creation of Grameen Danone Foods in Bangladesh
Grameen Danone grew out of the partnership between Danone and Grameen Bank, the micro-credit lender founded by Muhammad Yunus. Grameen Danone is a social business designed to produce nutrient-fortified yogurt that poor rural populations can afford. In 2007, Danone took the next step by creating danone.communities, an innovative financial tool to incubate social businesses.
2006
Making health our mission
“Ever since Isaac Carasso exploited his first lactic ferments in the early twentieth century, health and well-being have been the primary goals of all our products,” said Franck Riboud as he unveiled Danone’s new mission: bringing health through food to as many people as possible.
2001
Launch of Danone Way
The launch of Danone Way in 2001 encouraged all group companies to evaluate their own performance and launch initiatives that will combine business success with their responsibility to employees, stakeholders (from suppliers to consumers), and the environment.
1998
Danone supports the international Ramsar Convention
Danone’s 1998 signature of a partnership with the Ramsar Convention supports efforts to protect wetlands and promote sustainable use of water resources.
1997
The group’s focus is narrowed to Fresh Dairy Products, Waters and Biscuits
Major divestments in beer, food specialties and other areas generated the funds needed to invest in new companies. Growth was driven by acquisitions and investment in strong local brands—Bonafont in Mexico, La Serenisima and Villa del Sur in Argentina in 1995; Aqua in Indonesia and Clover in South Africa in 1998; and Stonyfield in the US in 2001. The strategy succeeded, making Danone leader or co-leader in all three of its businesses.
1996
Franck Riboud succeeds his father
In May 1996, Franck Riboud succeeded his father to become Danone’s CEO. He stepped up the pace of international growth and simultaneously narrowed the group’s focus to the three business lines with the best growth potential and the strongest brands—Fresh Dairy Products, Waters and Biscuits.
1994
BSN becomes Danone
In 1994 Antoine Riboud shortened BSN-Gervais Danone’s name to Danone, a brand with global promise and the one that was already familiar to consumers in 46 countries—and the source of nearly a quarter of Group sales. With the new name came a new logo: a child gazing up at a star. It symbolizes our ambition to reach ever higher and further.
1991
First acquisition in Asia
By the early 1990s, BSN-Gervais Danone was seeking growth drivers further afield. After Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America were logical targets, and its first major Asian acquisition came in 1991 with Hong Kong-based Amoy, a specialist in soy sauces and frozen foods.
1990
Expansion in Eastern Europe
With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, the company rounded out its European presence by moving into Eastern Europe. Hungary came first, followed by Poland in 1991, Czech Republic and Russia in 1992, and Bulgaria in 1993. On a 1991 trip to Russia, Antoine Riboud marveled at the long lines outside a local McDonald’s outlet; a year later Muscovites were lining up in front of Danone’s own shop on Gorki Avenue.
1986
BSN-Gervais Danone becomes the European Leader on the Biscuits segment
In 1986, BSN-Gervais Danone moved into biscuits—an entirely new sector—after a furious and successful battle for Générale Biscuit and its famous LU brand. A short time later, in 1989, the group moved on to acquire Nabisco’s European subsidiaries Belin (France), Jacob’s (UK) and Saiwa (Italy), snapping them up from under the nose of competitors. In less than 20 years, this aggressive strategy made BSN-Gervais Danone Europe’s third-largest food group.
1980
BSN Gervais Danone accelerates its expansion in the food business
The creation of the single European market made it essential for BSN Gervais Danone to secure leading or co-leading positions quickly to meet competition from Nestlé, Unilever and other giant rivals. So with the proceeds from the sale of flatglass operations in 1980, BSN-Gervais Danone headed down the acquisition trail. First came Amora, Maille, Vandamme and La Pie Qui Chante; they were followed by Liebig, Galbani and Volvic.
1972
Merger of BSN and Gervais Danone
The story of the BSN-Gervais Danone merger is primarily the story of a 1972 encounter between Daniel Carasso and Antoine Riboud at CEDEP, a professional development center for executives that their companies had helped found a year earlier.
1972
The Marseille speech
“Economic growth and the market economy have radically transformed standards of living in the western world. There’s no doubt about that”. With these words, Antoine Riboud began his speech to the national conference of the French employers’ association in October 1972. His speech—now famous—marked the first time an employer in France stressed the need to consider the human side of business.
1971
Antoine Riboud creates the association “Vacances Propres” in France
Initiated in 1971 by some of the greatest leaders in the packaging and FMCG industries, and created by Antoine Riboud, the association “Vacances Propres” (literally, “Clean holidays”) invites tourists to respect the environment through annual collecting & recycling campaigns.
1968
Launch of the takeover bid for Saint-Gobain
In 1968, Antoine launched the first takeover bid for Saint-Gobain, a company three times the size of BSN. The move was aimed at building a global player in glassmaking. And while this bold move ultimately failed, the ensuing battle secured his place in French business history.
1942
Dannon is founded in the US by Daniel Carasso
In 1941, Daniel Carasso and his wife left France for NYC. Shortly after his arrival, Daniel Carasso saw a classified ad: Yoghurt business for sale. He goes to see: "It was a shop in the Bronx run by an old Greek couple, who made between 100 and 200 pots of yogurt a day for the cafeterias in the area." By purchasing this goodwill, he founded Dannon Milk Products Inc. in 1942.
1929
Daniel Carasso founds Danone in France
When Daniel Carasso decides to launch Danone products in France, he is not yet 20. Société Parisienne du Yoghourt, a company with FRF 500,000 in capital, is registered in 1929. Business started in a 78m² shop on the ground floor of a building in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. To win over consumers, he emphasized health benefits but also worked hard to ensure that Danone yogurt tasted better than rival brands.
1919
Isaac Carasso founds Danone in Barcelona
To treat the many local children suffering from intestinal disorders, Isaac Carasso introduced yogurt in Spain in 1919. Yogurt was a product widely recognized for its health benefits in the Balkans, yet unknown in Spain at the time. Doctors in Barcelona prescribed yogurt for their patients because they were aware of research into lactic ferments by Nobel laureate and Pasteur Institute director Elie Metchnikoff. Isaac named the new brand after his son Daniel, whose nickname in Catalan was “Danon”.