Dannon makes "major changes"

18 Jul 2016

Dannon has announced that it is implementing the first of many major changes to provide more choice to consumers. New yogurts with non-GMO ingredients are now available for the first time.

Dannon makes major changes

Dannon has announced that it is implementing the first of many major changes to provide more choice to consumers. New yogurts with non-GMO ingredients are now available for the first time from Dannon with the unveiling of the first Dannon and Oikos branded products that contain more natural and non-GMO ingredients. This is the beginning of the transformation of the company’s Danimals, Oikos and Dannon brands, the company said, which over time will evolve to contain non-GMO ingredients to add more choices to the most diverse range of yogurts available in the U.S. Additionally, starting now and expected to be completed within several months, all Dannon products in the U.S. that have GMO ingredients will be clearly labelled as such, independent of actions taken (or not) by the federal government. Starting in 2017 and completing the transformation by the end of 2018, Dannon said it will go one step further to ensure that the cows that supply Dannon’s milk for these three flagship brands will be fed non-GMO feed, a first for a leading non-organic yogurt maker. This will involve the conversion of an estimated 80,000 acres of farmland to produce non-GMO crops in order to provide non-GMO feed for the milk used to make Dannon, Oikos and Danimals brand products.

“Shoppers are our main ingredient, and what is important to them drives what we do. For this reason, the range of products we make is evolving to provide even more choices,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO, Dannon. “Transparency is the key word for this shift. To show to our consumers that in order to make a real choice, we need clear labels, today we are making a bold change and candidly iscussing how transparency from brands is essential for shoppers to make real choices.”

Claiming that it is the first yogurt -maker and big food company to make such sweeping changes, Dannon says it is leading the food industry’s efforts to keep shoppers informed with information and empowered with choice.

“Choosing to purchase foods with fewer or more natural ingredients, or with or without GMO ingredients, is an important individual decision, and we feel strongly that people have the right to know how companies are making food. This is just the first of many steps towards our continued transparency and one that we hope others will follow,” said Lozano. “And we’re not just doing this alone. Dannon is proud to have the support of the Non-GMO Project, Green America and Just Label It.”

Beginning in early 2017, Dannon said it will go one step further by working with feed suppliers and its farmer partners to start planting non-GMO feed to fulfil its pledge that the cows that supply milk for the company’s three flagship brands will be fed non-GMO feed, a first for a leading non -organic yogurt maker. This is slated to be completed by the end of 2018. Once these changes are implemented, these products from the three brand families will contain milk from cows fed only non-GMO feed.

Dannon says it has been and is continuing to implement animal welfare practices at its farmer partners’ operations via the Validus Certification system. Now, the company says, more than 90% of Dannon’s direct milk supply comes from farms that are Validus Certified.