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.
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.
Dairy foods including yogurt are widely recognized as an important component of a balanced diet and are recommended for consumption in most national dietary guidelines, primarily to meet required daily intakes of calcium. Indeed, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations considers yogurts to be a nutrient-dense food supplying significant amounts of high-quality protein and micronutrients.
Everyone can benefit from yogurts’ nutritional quality. Through milk fermentation using bacterial cultures, yogurt and fermented milk products make milk more easily digestible for people who have difficulty digesting lactose.
Le yaourt fournit des nutriments tels que du calcium, des protéines, de la vitamine B, de l'iode, du phosphore, du magnésium et du potassium, qui contribuent tous à la croissance et au développement. En tant qu'aliment à forte densité en nutriments, le yaourt contient une quantité importante de nutriments par calorie.
Des études récentes confirment également que la consommation de yaourts est d'une manière générale liée à un régime alimentaire de meilleure qualité, plus diversifié et plus adéquat sur le plan nutritionnel. Par ailleurs, une étude américaine a démontré que les grands consommateurs de yaourts (au moins trois par semaine) étaient moins sujets à une prise de poids à long terme que les consommateurs occasionnels (moins d’un par semaine). (Source: Nutr Res. Jan 2013; 33(1): 18–26. - Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and women. Huifen Wang, Kara A. Livingston, Caroline S. Fox, James B. Meigs, and Paul F. Jacques)
To seduce the consumer everyday, Danone constantly innovates in the products offered, their packaging, their recipes, 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.
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.
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.
The Company 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.