Danone, one of the world’s leading suppliers of dairy products, recently announced that it intends to triple its sales of plant-based products by 2025. Last month, the CEO of Danone SA, predicted that the next decade will see consumers consistently moving away from animal proteins and towards plant-based products.
Danone subsidiaries include Alpro, Provamel, and recently acquired Whitewave, making them one of the foremost players in plant-based production. We spoke to Gaetan van de Populiere, Brand Equity Director.
In 2016 Danone bought Alpro and Provamel. How did the two brands develop since the acquisition? What are plans for the future?
Being part of Danone gives Alpro and Provamel the opportunity to increase the visibility of plant-based products and make them accessible to more people than before.
Health and sustainability have always been strong values shared within Danone, and both Alpro and Provamel remain true to who & what they are: 100% plant-based, GMO-free, healthy and full of taste. We’ll continue to source our ingredients & make our products according to our philosophy of sustainability and quality.
Aligned with its long-standing commitment to combined economic success and social progress, Danone publicly communicated its ambition to become a Certified B Corp globally.
Alpro is one of nine Danone subsidiaries certified B Corp to date. By joining the B Corp movement, Alpro re-affirms its commitment to use our business as a force for good and to making a positive difference in the world.
What is the current plant-based portfolio of those two brands?
Both Alpro & Provamel have a sizeable portfolio of categories & plant-based ingredients, ranging from Drinks (Plain & Flavoured), to plant-based alternatives to yoghurt & cream and desserts. Alpro has recently added plant-based Iced coffees and plant-based Ice Cream to the portfolio. Looking forward, we’ll continue to develop our offer further.
Everywhere we find meaningful opportunities to disrupt through plant-based and help change the way the world eats for the better, we want to be there.
How important are vegans as a consumer group to Danone and why?
Plant-based eating has been growing in popularity over the past 40 years and truly hit the mainstream now. With changing lifestyles, consumers today are giving more thought to the food choices they make. More than ever before, they are looking for nourishing and sustainable products. Our research – and indeed our sales – show that more and more people are choosing plant-based irrespective of the label that they put on their diet. So this is not only about more and more people turning vegan, but about more and more people putting plant-based food into their diets. Danone plans to triple its worldwide Plant-Based sales from €1.7 billion to around €5 billion by 2025 notably by accelerating its core plant-based beverages and yogurt categories.
What vegan launches and line-extensions do you have planned for 2019?
2019 saw plenty of launches for us, we’ve extended our Unsweetened or No Added Sugar ranges, both in drinkable formats and in yoghurt alternatives.
On top of that, we’ve entered the market with plant-based Skyr Style & Greek Style yoghurt alternatives. We’ve also launched a very strategic range of plant-based Iced Coffees and are capturing the coffee opportunity with “Barista” products, to be enjoyed with coffee by both the best-in-class Barista and the regular everyday coffee drinker.
And of course, we’re continuing our roll-out of healthy & yummy plant-based Ice Creams.
Alpro recently launched plant-based ice cream. In which countries can consumers buy it this summer?
Alpro’s ice cream is 100% plant-based and made of different ingredients such as soy, hazelnut, coconut and almond. You’ll always taste the nut combined with the indulging flavors for a unique taste experience. Alpro ice cream has a creamy texture, contains less sugars than the market reference and has no added sweeteners. 5 tastes have been launched so far: Vanilla, Hazelnut-Chocolate, Almond-Salted Caramel, Coconut and Strawberry. Alpro’s ice cream is now available in several European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Rumania, The Netherlands).
Can you share some figures regarding your plant-based sales?
We don’t share financial figures other than the ones that are available in the integrated annual report of Danone. Danone plans to triple its worldwide Plant-Based sales from €1.7 billion to around €5 billion by 2025.
How do you asses the current plant-based dairy-products market and its future developments?
Plant-based has become a positive choice for consumers, reflecting a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. More and more studies appear to prove that a plant-based diet can be part of the solution to prevent global problems around nutrition and environmental damage. In recent years, plant-based eating has become more and more a trend and we are optimistic that this will not only continue, but will become even stronger, to become to fully mainstream.
With that move, we also see a step away from a mindset of “being an alternative to”, vs. being a wholly separate and unique area of products & function. The variety and options of plant-based products are tremendous and there’s still a lot to be explored…
We very much want to continue to be the company with the right set of brands and products that takes the consumer along on that exploration journey. As such, we think we’re on the right track to change the way people eat & drink for the better.