The multinational dairy aims to increase plant-based sales worldwide from €2 billion in 2019 to around €5 billion by 2025
Danone chief executive Emmanuel Faber
Danone chief executive Emmanuel Faber

French dairy giant Danone has created the Plant-based Acceleration Unit to leverage the expertise of its Essential Dairy and Plant-Based (EDP) business in this area. The unit will be led by Francisco Camacho, Danone’s executive vice president of EDP International.

The new business will further expand into new categories, such as coffee, and will explore opportunities outside EDP’s expertise. Danone said baby food and healthy ageing food solutions are attractive segments.

With the accelerator, the company aims to increase plant-based sales worldwide from €2 billion in 2019 to around €5 billion by 2025. The company is also considering pivoting more large brands into plant-based.

Danone has also elevated EDP North America to the executive level. Shane Grant has been appointed its chief executive, effective 11 May 2020.

“We believe it is the right moment for Danone North America to start another exciting phase of development,” said chief executive Emmanuel Faber.

Faber said the EDP North America can now fully take part in Danone’s sustainable value creation agenda, by deploying the ‘One Planet. One Health’ framework of action.

Danone: Alternative portfolio

The business overhaul builds on the acquisition of US-based, all-plant packaged food and drink maker WhiteWave in 2017. Since then, the business has combined its core dairy expertise with the plant-based elements of the category, meeting the rising demand from consumers adopting flexitarian diets. The business has been operating as Danone North America since 2018.

The company reported €6.2 billion in consolidated sales in Q1 2020, up 3.7% on a like-for-like basis. Sales growth is up 2.9% in volume and 0.8% growth in value.

Danone Manifesto Ventures has recently invested in all-plant start-up Laird Superfood.

Date published: 5 May 2020

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