Michelin, Danone et al to open precision fermentation plant in France

© Michelin

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Danone to Open Precision Fermentation Center ‘Biotech Open Platform’ in France with Strategic Players

French dairy giant Danone, engineered materials group Michelin, the US startup DMC Biotechnologies, and Crédit Agricole Centre France have partnered to create the Biotech Open Platform. The new center will focus on precision fermentation, a technology pivotal for innovation in agri-food and materials with the potential to address the need for sustainable alternatives to animal and fossil-based products, according to the announcement. Located in the commune of Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne, at the Parc Cataroux Center for Sustainable Materials, an innovation accelerator supported by Michelin, the platform aims to support the development of biosolutions on a larger scale. Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Danone: “At Danone, we have always been focused on investing in the future of food, and this partnership is the next step in this journey. …

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Danone expands Alpro range as part of strategic move towards plant-based

© Alpro/Danone

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Danone Continues “Strategic Move Towards Plant-Based” With New High Protein Alpro Products

As the company continues to move towards plant-based foods, multinational food corporation Danone has recently launched a range of new dairy-free products in the UK under its Alpro brand. Earlier this year, Danone completed the conversion of one of its dairy yogurt production facilities in France into an oat milk facility. The conversion was announced in 2021 as the market for plant-based products continued its trajectory. As initially reported by The Grocer, Alpro has launched four new Plant Protein products — drinks in chocolate and original flavours and yogurt alternatives in red fruit and tropical fruit varieties. The range will be supported by a major £2 million marketing campaign running from April to June. Additionally, Alpro has introduced smaller pack sizes for two popular milk …

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Alpro new branding

©Alpro

Studies & Numbers

39% of Romanians Consume Plant-Based Products As Flexitarianism Surges

According to research by Danone Romania, 39% of Romanians now consume plant-based products, up from 30% last year. Meanwhile, less than a third (31%) eat meat daily. 33% of respondents said they choose plant-based foods for their taste, while 30% cited sustainability. Consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most likely to choose a more plant-based eating pattern. 30% of those surveyed said they follow a particular dietary principle, such as vegetarianism, veganism, or flexitarianism. The latter is becoming particularly popular in the country; according to the study, this reflects “an evolution in food preferences and awareness”. The research was conducted last month by NMS Hungary Kft, which surveyed a representative sample of 500 Romanians. “Promising trajectory” A recent report by ProVeg …

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Avena Foods oats and pulses

© Avena Foods

Investments & Acquisitions

Protein Industries Canada Announces $19.2M Investment in Canadian Plant-Based Ingredients Project

Global innovation cluster Protein Industries Canada has unveiled a $19.2 million investment initiative to develop innovative Canadian ingredients for new snack and food options. Avena Foods, a key player in this project, will leverage the funding to create oat and pulse ingredients that will replace processing aids in products by Big Mountain Foods, Danone Canada, and Old Dutch Foods. This will lead to new consumer offerings, including allergy-friendly alternatives. The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, stated, “The global food market is in need of sustainable and nutritious ingredients, and Canada is helping meet that demand. By supporting projects like this one, Protein Industries Canada, one of Canada’s global innovation clusters, is securing Canada’s position as a global supplier of plant-based ingredients.” Protein …

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Alpro new branding

©Alpro

Manufacturing & Technology

France: Danone Completes Conversion of Dairy Yogurt Plant to Oat Milk Production

French multinational food corporation Danone has converted its dairy yogurt plant in Villecomtal-sur-Arros to oat milk production. The company announced it was planning the conversion in 2021, as the French market for plant-based products continued to increase. Jobs at the plant will be retained following the transition, which required two years of work and a €43 million investment. The facility will mostly produce oat milk for Danone’s plant-based brand, Alpro, which the company acquired in 2017. Initially, around 100,000 litres per day will be produced, but this could eventually rise to as much as 300,000. Around 90% of this will be exported, mainly to other European countries. Danone now has four plant-based milk facilities across Europe — the others are in Issenheim (France), Lunnarp (Sweden), …

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Danone Canada Silk Greek-style yogurt

© Danone Canada

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Danone Canada Launches Silk Greek-Style Yogurt with Locally Sourced Pea Protein

Danone Canada’s Silk brand announces its latest product launch: Greek-style, plant-based yogurt made with Canadian pea protein. Available in Vanilla and Key Lime flavors, the new products contain 12 grams of protein per 175g serving. The latest expansion of the Silk product line is designed to meet the growing consumer demand for plant-based options that are rich in protein, leveraging the comprehensive amino acid profile offered by pea protein. Additionally, the company’s strategic choice to source all pea protein exclusively from Canada is a positive development amidst the current challenges faced by North American pea protein producers. Pea protein has become a popular ingredient in the plant-based protein sector due to its hypoallergenic properties when compared to soy and wheat proteins, along with its complete …

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Plant-based nutrition for kids

©Else Nutrition

Company News

Else Nutrition and Danone Enter into Cooperation Agreement

Else Nutrition (BABY) has announced a multi-phase collaboration with French multinational food processing company Danone SA. Else and Danone signed a letter of intent (LOI) on November 13, 2023, which provides for cooperation in several phases. The prerequisite for this is the conclusion of certain economic conditions. The LOI came about after Danone completed extensive due diligence. In the first cooperation phase, Else and Danone will conclude a license agreement. This stipulates that Else’s purely plant-based and soy-free infant nutrition products, for which clinical evidence has been provided, are included in Danone’s specialty food range and are manufactured and marketed by Danone. In addition to the first phase, the contracting parties will negotiate further business opportunities beyond product marketing. The contracting parties expect to sign …

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ALPRO VALUEPACKS

Image courtesy of Alpro

Milk- and Dairy Alternatives

Danone Puts €2 Price Cap on Alpro Milk in Belgium to Boost Category

French multinational Danone announces a campaign in Belgium where it will cap prices for Alpro plant milks (Oat and Almond, with and without sugar), at €2, representing a reduction of between 20% and 40%, depending on the retailer. The manufacturer has signed a commercial deal with food distributors to agree on the price cap. “Of course, it is the retailers who set the selling prices, but they have all undertaken to take part in the action and not to charge consumers more than €2 for the next six weeks”, Olivier Rabartin, sales director at Danone Belux, explained to Belgium’s Retail Detail. “We have reached a commercial agreement with our customers. The discussions were not easy, especially at the beginning, but they are playing the game,” …

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Alexandre Bompard at a Carrefour announcing the launch of a coalition to democratize plant-based foods

© Alexandre Bompard on LinkedIn

Company News

Carrefour and Major Food Companies Launch Plant-Based Coalition to Take Alternatives Mainstream

Président Directeur Général of Carrefour, Alexandre Bompard,  has announced the launch of a plant-based coalition to democratize and develop plant-based alternatives for the market.  In partnership with food manufacturing and distribution companies Danone, SAVENCIA, ANDROS, Bel Bonduelle, Unilever, and NUTRITION & SANTE, the coalition aims to reach €3 billion in sales by 2026. “This initiative demonstrates our ability to join forces and assume our collective responsibility as manufacturers and retailers to consume sustainable products at reasonable prices,” says Bompard on social media. Food is responsible for almost 25% of GHG emissions, and global warming is increasing rapidly. As 50% of households follow a flexitarian diet, and the purchasing power of the French is under significant pressure, Bompard believes that affordable plant-based alternatives are a solution …

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Organic Oatmilk

©So Delicious Dairy Free

Products & Launches

Danone’s So Delicious Enters Oatmilk Category with New Organic Oatmilk

So Delicious Dairy Free, a subsidiary of Danone North America, announces it is launching new Organic Oatmilk – the brand’s first foray into the booming oatmilk category.  Created to meet increasing consumer demand for oatmilk beverages, So Delicious Dairy Free Organic Oatmilk is made with organic oats and other ingredients, and comes in two varieties: Original and Extra Creamy.  According to So Delicious, oatmilk continues to be one of the most popular plant-based beverages, with YOY sales growing by over 50% in June 2022. The new Organic Oatmilk is described as a rich and creamy product meant to be enjoyed in coffees, smoothies or virtually any recipe. The product is Certified Organic, gluten-free, and Non-GMO Project Verified, as well as certified vegan by Vegan Action, and …

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Silk Creamer

©Silk

Investments & Finance

Danone North America Announces $65M Investment to Expand Key US Brands, Including Silk Coffee Creamers

Dairy giant Danone North America announces it will invest up to $65M over the next two years to build a new bottle production line in Jacksonville, Florida. According to the company, the investment will help expand production capabilities and scale several key US brands, including Silk plant-based coffee creamers.   Intended to support Danone NA’s long-term growth strategy, the new bottling plant will increase production of several of Danone’s coffee and creamer brands in the US, including Silk, International Delight,  and STok coffee, while also meeting consumer demand in these categories, Danone says. Creating jobs In addition to supporting Danone’s sustainability goals, the investment will reportedly advance its operational excellence, enable flexibility in bottle design, and drive more cost efficiencies. The Jacksonville plant will also create …

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Medical nutrition drink

© Nutricia

Health

Nutricia Introduces First Plant-Based Medical Nutrition Drink

Danone-owned company Nutricia has launched its first ever plant-based medical nutrition drink to cater to patients who avoid dairy. Fortimel® PlantBased Energy is a nutritionally-complete drink made from pea and soy protein. It is designed to meet the needs of patients who have malnutrition or are at risk of becoming malnourished. A recent study found that the drink is well-tolerated and significantly improves protein and energy intake. 94% of patients consumed the drinks as directed for the duration of the study, demonstrating a high level of adherence. Fortimel® PlantBased Energy is available in two flavours — Mango & Passion Fruit and Mocha. The drink will initially be introduced in the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and the Czech Republic, launching in other European countries later …

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Plant-based creamers

© Danone North America

Products & Launches

Danone North America Launches Plant-Based Creamers Made From Almond & Coconut

Danone North America has introduced two new plant-based creamers under its alt dairy brands Silk and So Delicious. Silk is North America’s top-selling non-dairy creamer brand, and was the first to enter the category in 2018. Now, the company has expanded its range with Mocha Almond Creamer. Claimed to be the first non-seasonal plant-based mocha creamer, the product is described as “smooth, lusciously creamy, and bursting with chocolate-y flavor”. “Silk continues to bring variety to consumers who are seeking new flavors to enjoy in their coffee, and the delicious chocolate flavor of new Mocha Almond Creamer is an exciting new way for plant-based consumers to savor their coffee and their day,” said Kallie Goodwin, Vice President of Traditional Creamers at Danone North America. Reimagined creamers …

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Silk Product Range

©Silk/ Danone North America

Company News

Danone North America Plans to Reformulate 70% of Its Milk Alternatives to Be Healthier

Danone North America announced recently it will invest $22M in new health and wellness initiatives, including reformulating 70% of its plant-based milk alternatives with healthier ingredients.  Prioritizing nutrition The global dairy conglomerate revealed its pledge at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health held last week. In an effort to support the dietary health of 300 million Americans, Danone says it is committed to reducing added sugars across its children’s products, and will increase the nutrient density of most of its plant-based beverages. In 2020, the company partnered with bioscience startup BrightSeed to “usher in a new era of precision nutrition” for its plant-based products using artificial intelligence.   Danone, which owns dairy-free brands Silk, So Delicious and Alpro, also plans to allocate $15M …

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Silk Nextmilk Minnesota Fair

©Silk

Marketing & Media

Silk Nextmilk Wins Over Thousands of Dairy Fans at Minnesota State Fair

Plant-based milk brand Silk recently attended the Minnesota State Fair to offer samples of Nextmilk, a “dairy-like” beverage created to offer the same taste and texture as traditional cow’s milk.  Silk, which is owned by Danone, states it was the only plant-based brand providing samples at the event, which ranks as the largest state fair in the US by average daily attendance. The company sampled Nextmilk to over 44,000 attendees over 5 days – equating to 12 people per minute –  and reports that 90% of tasters submitted highly positive feedback.  According to Silk, reviewers praised Nextmilk’s creamy taste and texture, and admired the product for being lactose-free. Silk’s presence at the fair is even more noteworthy considering dairy is a top agricultural product in …

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Danone mousse

© Danone

Sweets & Snacks

Danone Launches Vanilla Danette Vegan Mousse in France

Parisian multinational Danone has recently extended its Danette range by adding a vegan mousse in vanilla flavour. This new reference is now available in French supermarkets at a price of around 2.69 euros for 4 jars of 57 grams. The base of this Nutri-score C mousse is coconut milk, which was already the base of Danette Chocolate Dessert and Danette Chocolate Mousse. “Our mission is to further advance the vegan lifestyle with great-tasting products. In five years, we hope to see more people – vegans and flexitarians – adding vegan products to their daily diet as a tasty option,” Danone told vegconomist in an interview. In addition, Danone announced in November 2021 that it would transform one of its main factories to produce Alpro plant-based …

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MINOR_FIGURES_CAFE

©Minor Figures

Investments & Finance

Minor Figures Oat Milk Secures Investment from Danone VC Firm and Green Monday

UK oat milk brand Minor Figures has received investment from Danone Manifesto Ventures and David Yeung’s Green Monday Group. The investment amount was not disclosed. Clemence Delcourt, Danone Manifesto’s chief investment officer, has also joined Minor Figures’ board of directors.  The news comes as Minor Figures, a fast-growing alt-dairy brand, continues to expand its product portfolio and international retail growth. In March, the company predicted 100% YOY growth as it launched its oat milk into 700 Tesco stores across the UK. This week, it debuted its first refrigerated plant-based beverages at 250 Waitrose locations. “Minor Figures is fully aligned with our goal to partner with mission-driven food and beverage companies that are creating a healthy and sustainable future,” commented Clemence Delcourt of Danone. “ Stuart and the …

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Eclipse Dairy-Free Ice Cream

©Eclipse Foods

Food & Beverage

Eclipse Foods to Grow Retail Footprint by 35% With Expansion Into 130+ Stores

Eclipse Foods, creators of dairy-like plant-based ice cream, announces the brand will expand to over 130 US stores, increasing its retail presence by 35% in March.  Building on last year’s expansion, which saw Eclipse debut in Whole Foods Markets throughout Northern California, the new rollout will bring Eclipse’s acclaimed ice cream to new stores including: Safeway Albertsons, Safeway Vons, and Safeway Pavilions (Southern California), Nugget Market (Northern California), and Harmon’s (Utah.) Best-selling flavors such as Cookie Butter, Dark Side of the Spoon, Mint Chip and Caramel Butter Pecan will be sold at all of the new locations, the company says. “Impossible Foods of Ice Cream” The rollout continues a path of rapid growth for Eclipse,  which makes premium plant-based ice cream that is indistinguishable from …

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So Delicious Botanicals

©So Delicious

Products & Launches

So Delicious Launches Coconutmilk Yogurts With Botanical Extracts

A week after the news of its upcoming Wondermilk ice cream products, created to offer the same characteristics of dairy; Danone subsidiary So Delicious announces a new line of Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternatives with Botanical Extracts.  So Delicious Yogurt Alternative with Botanical Extracts contain live and active cultures, organic coconut, 7-8g of sugar, and no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. The company states that each purchase helps to support coconut farmers in the Philippines through the Good People Loop. The products initially launch in three flavors: Strawberry with Elderberry Extract– A combination of strawberry flavor and botanical elderberry extract Mango with Ginger and Turmeric Extracts– Mango flavor plus botanical ginger and turmeric extracts  Mixed Berry with Chamomile Extract– Mixed berry flavor and botanical chamomile extract “Here at …

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Silk Launches NextMilk Dairy Lovers

©Silk

Products & Launches

The Future of Plant-Based Milk? Silk Launches “Revolutionary” Nextmilk to Win Over Dairy Lovers

Silk announces the introduction of Nextmilk to appeal to dairy consumers who still prefer the taste of cow’s milk over plant-based alternatives.  Nextmilk is Silk’s first launch of a plant-based beverage designed to deliver the exact taste and sensory experience of actual cow’s milk. Nextmilk is Non-GMO certified, lactose-free and contains 30% fewer calories than dairy. It also offers six key nutrients found in dairy: calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, B12, riboflavin and phosphorus. Available in Original and Reduced Fat varieties, the product retails for $4.99 per carton and can be found at Target, Kroger, Publix and HEB stores across the US.  Silk, a Danone North America brand, says Nextmilk’s creamy flavor and texture took painstaking analysis and testing to develop. Danone’s research and innovation …

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