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Version : 50

Innovation means supporting Danone’s Fresh Dairy Products division in its commitment to producing high quality products. Whether in terms of nutritional benefits, taste, flavour or convenience, Danone’s Fresh Dairy Products wishes to be the item of choice for consumers. This means that innovation is possible in many areas, in order to offer a unique product experience. From the quality of the milk and other ingredients, the search for sustainable industrial techniques through to the aesthetics of the product itself, innovation has a role to play. For decades now, Danone has been convinced of the benefits of yogurt in particular and Fresh Dairy Products in general, and the company has continued to innovate so that these remain a healthy pleasure to be shared by all.

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INFORM AND EDUCATE ABOUT THE HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF YOGURT

As has been clearly stated in public health recommendations, the daily consumption of Fresh Dairy Products in general, and yogurt in particular, is a simple way of taking care of one’s health every day.

 

Yogurt is natural, easy to digest and highly nutritious (packed with calcium and proteins). Affordable and convenient, it can be enjoyed by everyone, every day. These beliefs are behind the creation of Danone and its first yogurt. It is natural for the Group to focus a large part of its efforts on sharing these convictions as widely as possible. In 2012, research teams used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (United States) and found that yogurt consumption is associated with better meeting daily calcium requirements. In addition, a study conducted in partnership with Tufts University in Massachusetts linked yogurt consumption to a reduced risk of high blood pressure.

STAYING ATTRACTIVE

To seduce the consumer eveyday, Danone constantly innovates in the product offered, their packaging, their receipes, but also by inventing new ways to consume yogurt.

The Danone yogurt pot had been unchanged since 1978 and widely copied, so in 2012 it was completely revamped. Inspired by the porcelain yogurt pots created by Danone 90 years ago, the new KISS pot (Keep It Simple and Safe) has gone back to its origins. Its rounded shape makes it easier to hold and consumers can enjoy every last spoonful of yogurt.

 

Attracting the consumer also means offering new ways of eating yogurt. Danone is innovating with Yolado, an exclusive formula: a yogurt-based dairy product, made with fresh milk, free of preservatives and colours, which is eaten frozen. With less than 100 calories per pot (or half the calories of a classic ice cream), the result combines the smoothness of ice cream with the goodness of yogurt.

 

In the United States, the Fresh Dairy Products category is booming, even if it is still far behind that of Europe (by a ratio of 1:5!). Danone is working hard to diversify the way Americans eat yogurt, by increasing and completing its range of products. To this end, in just a few months, Danone developed new ranges, including Activia Greek and Light&Fit, joined forces with YoCream, the specialist in frozen yogurt for the food service market, formed a partnership with Starbucks to sell a completely new brand called “Evolution Fresh, Inspired by Dannon” through its American network in 2014, and bought YoCrunch, a company specialised in sweet or crunchy yogurt toppings.

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ADAPTING TO LOCAL CONSUMER NEEDS

In each country, Danone uses the know-how of its teams to find innovations that correspond to the tastes, habits and nutritional needs of consumers.

To better identify these local specificities, Danone has developed a programme called NutriPlanet: a comprehensive analysis of data on attitudes to food and nutrition, including cultural and sociological issues. Thanks to this complete evaluation, Danone adapts and designs "the" product that best suits the local situation.

Thus, in Indonesia, where most children leave for school without having breakfast, compact bottles of Milkuat, in the shape of a tiger’s head, have created a sensation since the end of 2011. Milkuat is fortified with iron and zinc, a recipe which helps to offset the nutritional deficiencies identified in 80% of Indonesian children.

Similarly, Activia succeeded in winning over consumers from Japan to Mexico and from Russia to the United States by tailoring its products to each nation: offering vegetable flavours in Japan, cactus in Mexico, kefir in Russia and “Greek-style” in the US.

Dans chaque pays, Danone met le savoir-faire de ses équipes au service d’innovations en adéquation avec les goûts, les habitudes, les besoins nutritionnels des consommateurs.

Pour mieux identifier ces spécificités locales, Danone a mis au point une méthodologie appelée «NutriPlanet» : une analyse exhaustive des données nutritionnelles, sociologiques, culturelles liées à l’alimentation et aux comportements alimentaires. Grâce à cet état des lieux complet, Danone adapte et conçoit «le» produit qui correspond aux réalités locales.
Ainsi, en Indonésie, où une majorité d’enfants partent à l’école sans prendre de petit déjeuner, la petite bouteille de Milkuat, en forme de tête de tigre, fait sensation depuis fin 2011. Renforcée en fer et en zinc, la recette répond à des carences nutritionnelles décelées chez 80% des petits Indonésiens.

De même, Activia a su conquérir le consommateur du Japon au Mexique et de la Russie à l’Amérique en s’imprégnant des envies de chacun : yaourt aux légumes au Japon, au cactus au Mexique, au kéfir en Russie, à la «grecque» aux États-Unis…

GUARANTEE THE “SECRET” OF THE SUPERIORITY OF MILK

Since 2010, the “Au lait de nos éleveurs” programme (the milk of our farmers) has allowed Danone to forge links with dairy farmers to ensure they receive a stable income, help them to become more competitive and to ensure consumers get the best quality milk.



Rolled out in France and Belgium, the programme includes a quality charter signed by both Danone and its producers. On the Danone Produits Laitiers Frais France and Danone Belgique websites, consumers can “trace” their yogurt using the barcode on the pot, and find out which factory and which milk collection zone has been used to make their Danone yogurt.

In addition, in France 80% of the dairy farmers working with Danone have signed up to the “Acteurs pour un lait durable” programme (partners for sustainable milk production), which has four aims: developing the quality and nutritional balance of milk, protecting the environment, encouraging the development and sustainability of dairy farms, and raising the status of dairy farming as a profession.

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DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION MODELS

The Group works closely with local producers to improve farming practices well beyond its historical bastions. In new markets where the collection models are still recent and little developed, Danone helps to create milk production sectors with local authorities and associations.



Collection points or co-operatives open to small-scale producers have been created in a number of countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico and Ukraine, in order to help farmers manage their farms or their herd, optimise their purchases, improve feeding of their herd and access veterinary care. This system provides farmers with a regular income and greater independence, whilst offering Danone guaranteed quality and quantities. These projects have been carried out in regions where Danone is newly present, and have been supported by the Danone Ecosystem fund. They are essential for the creation of a diversified supply chain which includes the various stakeholders from the farmer onwards. Examples include the Milky Way project in Tunisia which provides support and assistance for small dairy farmers, notably via the use of micro credit, which is similar to Milk Communities in Ukraine and Milk Collecting Communities (MCC) in Egypt.