Dairy giant to redevelop and rebrand Silk products as ‘Milk of the Land’ marketing campaign gets underway
Danone Centre in China
Product display area at Danone Open Research Centre in Shanghai

Danone has outlined plans to restructure its plant-based business following a successful Q2 that saw growth for the market segment increase 12% on the previous year.

As part of its ‘beverage acceleration strategy’, the dairy behemoth will modernize its main dairy-alternative brand in North America Silk.

“Double-digit plant-based growth was sustained [during Q2] with core beverage renovations driving share gains for Alpro in Europe, including a plant-based adjacency acceleration in North America and stepped-up global expansion led by LatAm and Russia,” Grant told analysts during the group’s H1 earnings call this week.

The company will also redevelop its Silk oat milk offering and refresh its UK and European Alpro brand’s Barista range.

Shane Grant, co-CEO for the group and CEO for Danone’s North American business, said almond milk was the company’s biggest segment within its plant-based beverage arm.

“It’s the entry point for consumers and really the drive there is differentiation. So, we continue to stay very assertive on providing points of differentiation in that segment and you should expect more on that to come, certainly in the US later this year and into 2022,”

As part of the restructure, a new ‘Milk of the Land’ marketing campaign has been launched in North America to support its Silk brand.

An ‘extra creamy’ almond milk product will also be released in the next few months to compete with the oat milk market.

“The current landscape in beverage is based on an ingredient analogue of almond, oat, soy. The opportunity we see is really the challenge of that convention. We know that in key plant-based markets like the US 60% of consumers are not in this category. We know the barrier is primarily product taste and product texture,” Grant said.

Grant said Danone’s other plant-based products, including yogurt, ice cream, cheese and creamers represented a third of the company’s overall plant-based revenue.

The overall essential dairy and plant-based business (EDP) posted sales growth of 3.2% year-on-year in H1, while operating margin remained at 9.1%

In June, the company offloaded its North American plant-based nutrition business Vega onto private equity house WM Partners. The deal was closed in July.

Elsewhere, Danone’s venture capital arm Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV) acquired a majority stake in organic coconut-based beverage business Harmless Harvest.

Date published: 30 July 2021

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