Danone Strategy Looks to the Future of Health and Nutrition

By Kitty Wheeler
Danone next steps develop the core aims the company has reinforced over the last few years: operational and executional discipline, science and innovation and proactive portfolio management.
Danone has progressed its renewal strategy by hosting a capital market event to share its mid-term strategy and value creation journey from 2025-2028.

Danone, the leading French multinational food and beverage giant known for some of the world’s favourite yoghurts and plant-based products, is cooking up something big through its roadmap for the next critical phase of growth.

The company has hosted a capital market event to reveal its vision for 2025-2028, that's got investors and industry watchers intrigued in its strategy that looks to reshape the company and the food and beverage landscape.

The strategy, Renewal Danone, has developed during a time defined by heightened health awareness and environmental concerns, emerging as a visionary roadmap for the future of food and nutrition. 

As one of the world's largest food companies, the Danone strategic shift may ripple throughout the global food industry, as the strategy aligns with and amplifies several key industry trends:

  • Shift towards healthier, more nutritious product offerings
  • Increased emphasis on transparency in sourcing and production
  • Growing focus on environmental sustainability and ethical business practices

The Danone brand portfolio includes both international brands and local brands globally, such as Activia, Actimel, Alpro, Evian and Volvic.

And at its heart, Renewal Danone seeks to align the company’s business model further by evolving consumer preferences for healthier, more sustainable food options whilst bolstering its competitive position in the global market.

What does the Renewal Danone strategy strive to achieve?

Building upon the solid foundation laid over the past two years, the new phase will leverage the company's reinvigorated focus on scientific advancement, operational excellence, and astute portfolio management, which are core competencies that have been meticulously honed since 2022.

As Danone positions itself at the vanguard of the health and nutrition sector, three key strategic aims are emerging:

Category Transformation: as the company is set to orchestrate a pivot in its approach to key categories, with particular emphasis on Protein and Gut Health, this shift signals the company’s intent to align more closely with evolving consumer health priorities and emerging nutritional science.

Business Model Expansion: by recognising the changing landscape of food consumption, Danone will broaden its operational scope. 

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Notable areas of acceleration include the away-from-home sector—capitalising on the resurgence of out-of-home dining—and medical nutrition, a high-growth segment with increasing relevance in ageing societies.

Geographic Diversification: in a bid to capture growth opportunities and mitigate market-specific risks, Danone will continue to expand its global footprint. 

This strategic geographical expansion aims to tap into diverse consumer bases and leverage regional health and nutrition trends.

By adeptly combining scientific rigour, operational agility, and market expansion, Danone is positioning itself not merely as a food producer, but as a pioneering force in shaping the future of nutrition and well-being.

What is Danone doing now?

Danone has recognised the imperative to adapt swiftly to changing market dynamics, including challenges from shifting consumer demands towards healthier, plant-based alternatives, to increasing focus on environmental sustainability, to intensifying competition in the health and nutrition sector, to a need for improved financial performance and shareholder value.

Through the acquisition of WhiteWave Foods for USD$12.5bn, Danone significantly expanded its presence in plant-based and organic products.

More recently, Danone has focused on strategic partnerships and investments in start-ups through its venture arm, Danone Manifesto Ventures.

And these collaborations aim to tap into emerging trends and technologies in the food and beverage sector, supporting the company's innovation pipeline and focusing on categories such as plant-based products and specialised nutrition positions to capitalise on some of the fastest-growing segments in the global food market.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Danone, says: "The Danone of today is very different from the Danone of 2 years ago”

In an industry at the crossroads of consumer health, environmental sustainability, and technological innovation, Danone is positioning itself not just as a food producer, but as a catalyst for positive change in the industry, shaping the future of food and nutrition.

Its execution and outcomes will be closely watched by industry observers, consumers, and competitors alike, as it may well shape the trajectory of the global food industry in the years to come.

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