Looking back at an epic journey

Born in Thessaloniki, Isaac Carasso had always been familiar with yogurt, a traditional street food in his hometown and throughout the Balkans. Upon settling in Barcelona in 1916, he grew concerned for the city’s children – including his own son Daniel - who often suffered from intestinal ailments due to poor hygiene. A highly curious and passionate man, Isaac dove into making yogurt, convinced of cultured milk products’ ability to strengthen the children’s regularity and bacterial flora. On the great journey from Isaac Carasso’s first porcelain jars to this day, one thing remains unscathed: our conviction that we can contribute to good health through simple, natural and tasty food!

Fresh milk and ferments: no more, no less

Naming them after his son’s nickname ‘Danon’, Isaac Carasso began to sell “Danone” yogurt to pharmacies in 1919. A simple product, with the simple aim to improve health, rooted in one of the oldest processes known to man: fermentation.

With some fresh milk, live cultures, and the right conditions, nature indeed inevitably works its magic. Being able to craft a yogurt with the right taste and texture, and deriving the most health benefits from the process, is where the real art comes in. From our first yogurt a century ago, the phenomenon has aroused much fascination. Isaac, much like his son a few years later, dedicated their lives to studying it, improving it, and mastering it.

From Barcelona’s pharmacies to the world

In 1929, a decade after Isaac produced his first yogurt, Daniel Carasso joined the family business. His background in bacteriology from the Pasteur Institute and the success of his father’s endeavor in Spain were driving forces in successfully expanding the Danone brand across France. Adapting his product to French tastes, he positioned yogurt not only as a healthy product, but as the ultimate dessert.

Daniel eventually expanded Danone across the Atlantic too. In 1942, settling in New York, he faced an uphill battle, though: yogurt was fairly unknown still in the U.S., and its natural acidity was somewhat foreign to American tastes. Daniel innovated, turning ‘Day-no-nee’ into Dannon, a soon-to-be household name that made the same natural yogurt with an added layer of strawberry jam for a sweet twist.

The business grew, and Daniel continued to protect the simple aim he and his father had shared: tirelessly pursuing research into the benefits and quality of his product, popularizing this once largely unknown food and continually bringing new tastes and flavors, all in the name of health.

Holding the Carasso torch up high

Many years later, our mission to ‘bring health through food to as many people as possible’, articulated by Franck Riboud, stands stronger than ever. It remains our anchor point to the values behind the very first Danone yogurt, driving us to continue to pioneer quality products made with natural ingredients, in a way that nourishes the health of people and now also of the planet. Building on this mission, we are committed to inspire many more people to make healthier and more sustainable food choices for centuries to come.