The food industry is undergoing a major shift, with companies responding to growing consumer demand for transparency and products that put health and sustainability first. A new announcement from The Dannon Company provides yet another example of how brands are taking action and tapping into public-private partnerships to stay on par with the changing landscape.
During the 2017 Building a Healthier Future Summit, the company announced that it has met and exceeded its commitments to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), a non-profit working towards finding solutions to the childhood obesity crisis, by improving the nutrition profile and nutrient of its products and investing more than $3 million in nutrition research and education.
“We’re pleased to say that Dannon achieved its goals while maintaining the great taste of our products and contributing to our market share growth during the reporting period,” said Sergio Fuster, President of DanoneWave’s yogurt portfolio in the US.
“In fact, our sales increased while these important changes were being made, indicating that consumers are looking for these kinds of improvements in their favorite brands.”
Dannon recently became part of DanoneWave, the reorganized business of Danone in North America and the largest public benefit corporation in the US.
“Our mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. As the nation’s leading yogurt maker, we have the opportunity to help improve consumers’ diets, providing them with widely accessible nutritious and sustainable food options. Although we surpassed our ambitious commitments to PHA, we are continuing to seek additional ways to improve the diet of Americans,” added Fuster.
Dannon’s PHA commitment goals were based on the latest nutrition science and guidance from the National Academies’ Health and Medicine Division (HMD) and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The company’s progress was verified by PHA’s third-party verifier.
In July 2013, the start of the three-year commitment period, Dannon pledged to reduce the amount of fat across its portfolio so that 75 percent of its products in volume sold would be nonfat or low-fat. The brand surpassed this goal by achieving 87 percent.
Additionally, Dannon delivered on its goal to reduce the amount of total sugar to 23 grams or less per six-ounce serving in 100 percent of products for children and exceeding its goal to reduce sugar in 70 percent of the its products overall by the end of the three-year period by 8 percent.
The $3 million investment in nutrition education and research has been used to develop, foster and grow education programs in partnership with the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), public schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Dannon’s efforts clearly demonstrate how effective public-private partnerships can be in improving the health of our nation’s youth. Dannon has been a steadfast partner and in many ways exceeded the goals for the partnership,” said Lawrence A. Soler, CEO of PHA.
The announcement coincides with the release of PHA’s yearly progress report for all commitment partners, assessed by an independent verifier.