In 1941, Daniel Carasso and his wife left France for NYC, where Daniel came across a classified ad: Yoghurt business for sale. "It was a shop in the Bronx run by an old Greek couple, who made 100-200 pots of yogurt a day for the cafeterias in the area." By purchasing this goodwill, he founded Dannon Milk Products Inc. in 1942.
The beginnings were difficult: "Yogurt was unknown in the US, except to certain European refugees. I found myself immerged in a new language and culture. And the Pasteur Institute could not stand security as they had done for the yoghurt in Spain and France".
Dannon’s sales began to take off in 1949; a plant was built on Long Island in 1950. In 1951, Daniel Carasso entrusted the management and presidence of the company to his collaborator Joe Metzger. In 1959, Dannon was sold to Beatrice Foods... and BSN-Gervais Danone bought it back in 1981.
Danone Waters of America was born in 1978. The Stonyfield Farm, established in 1983 by Gary Hirshberg, was acquired by Danone in 2001. Other strategic acquisitions were made in the 2010s: Medical Nutrition USA, YoCream, Happy Family, YoCrunch.
In March 2014, Dannon US announced, with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) at the 2014 Building a Healthier Future Summit, a landmark commitment to further improve the nutrition profile of its yogurt products. One year later, Dannon is well on its way to achieving several of its goals set forth, including improving the nutrient profile of its products and investing more than $1 million in nutrition research and education during the first year (July 2013 to June 2014) of its three-year commitment.
As part of its commitment, Dannon must reduce the amount of total sugar in Dannon products to 23 grams or less per 6-oz serving in 100% of products for children and 70% of the company’s products overall by 2016. Dannon already has met and exceeded its commitment to reduce sugar in products overall, with 76% of its portfolio meeting those standards, and has made progress with 91% of children’s products compliant at the end of year one. Most recently, Dannon introduced a Danimals Squeezables product for children, which is low fat and meets the reduced sugar standard of the P.H.A. commitment. Another goal Dannon is well on its way to achieving is progress in fat reduction. Dannon US’ commitment to PHA has also resonated deeply with its 1,400 employees and has energized nearly all to become ambassadors for nutrition.
This project aims at helping organic bananas producers of APPTA (Association of small producers of the Talamanca region) cooperative in Costa Rica to ensure and transform their production in puree based on an innovative technology, ensuring them a better access to the market and securing Stonyfield’s sourcing in organic bananas’ puree.
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