Staying ahead with innovations

The Research & Innovation programs of Danone Early Life Nutrition deliver evidence-based specialized nutrition to infants, young children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Science is at the heart of our nutrition and health commitment. We firmly believe that the right nutrition in the first 1,000 days – from pregnancy until two years of age – may positively influence short and long-term health outcomes. We believe that breast milk is the best source of nourishment for all infants worldwide. Breast milk is our inspiration for innovation.

Danone, early life nutrition

First 1,000 Days

Babies go through an incredible period of growth and development during their first 1,000 days, which sets the blueprint for their lifelong wellbeing. We believe that helping moms and babies around the world get the right nutrition during this critical period—from conception to two years old—is a crucial step towards improving global health.

Danone, early life nutrition : first  1000 days

Research from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the double burden of malnutrition—over- and under-nutrition—is a significant problem throughout the world. Through our focus on research, product development and education, we strive to innovate in the field of early life nutrition to ensure that we improve lifelong health for as many people as possible.

The first 1,000 days, from conception to a child’s 2nd birthday, offer a unique window of opportunity to build long-term health. Ensuring the right nutrition during the first 1,000 days can have an immense impact on a child’s future. It has the potential to save millions of lives around the world every year, by reducing conditions such as obesity, allergy, diabetes and gut discomfort.

the first 1,000 days: a unique window of opportunity to shape lifelong health 

We work hand-in-hand with more than 150 passionate partners to mobilise and motivate our stakeholders at global, regional and local levels about the health benefits of good nutrition in early life. We invest in scientific research of early life nutrition, and work with healthcare professionals to develop innovative ways to help improve the health of current and future generations. We actively engage, encourage and promote the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. We work to ensure all parents have access to simple and relevant dietary guidelines at all stages during the first 1,000 days, so allowing them to make appropriate and informed feeding choices for their children.

Learn more about the importance of the First 1,000 days and our research & innovation programs on


Our research programs address all key scientific topics in early life: maternal nutrition and physiology during pregnancy and breastfeeding, composition and health benefits of human milk. We also study the development of gut function, gut microbiota, immune system, growth and metabolism of infants and young children.

Our Research & Innovation centres form a global team of over 400 scientists, nutritionists and product development specialists, passionate about developing the next generation of nutritional products. Our main research centre is based in Utrecht Science Park, The Netherlands, with a satellite research centre in Singapore, focused on using advanced digital technology to provide tailored nutritional care in early life. Our various Research & Innovation facilities across the globe help bring the international science and technology at a local level.

Our commitment to research includes close collaborations, partnerships and open dialogue with research institutes, universities, hospitals and industry suppliers around the world.

Our product development specialists and process technology experts translate scientific concepts into actual products to be manufactured at an industrial scale. During the process, our sensory scientists and packaging experts ensure the products we deliver provide a high-quality consumer experience.

About Danone Nutricia Research

Danone Nutricia Research is the research and development organization behind 2 divisions of Danone: Early Life Nutrition and Advanced Medical Nutrition. We have a shared mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible. In support of this ambition, we aim to create nutritional solutions for a range of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, infants, children, and patients suffering from certain chronic diseases.

Click here to learn more about how we bring science and innovation to early life.

Early Life Nutrition is a cornerstone of the food revolution. It’s the basis, the starting point in helping children get off to a good start in life and build their health capital for the future.

Bridgette Heller, Executive Vice President, Early Life Nutrition and Advanced Medical Nutrition
Danone, early life nutrition