Author: Matt Timms
8 Jul 2016
French firm Danone has agreed to acquisition terms with WhiteWave Foods in what amounts to the biggest deal for the yoghurt maker in a decade. The deal, to be finalised by the end of the year, values the Denver-based food and beverage firm at $12.5bn, and adds some enviable names to the company’s product line – not least Horizon Organic milk and plant-based Silk milk. Having taken the reins as recently as October 2014, it seems Danone’s CEO Emmanuel Faber is making good on his promise to return the group to sustainable growth and reinforce its credentials abroad.
The acquisition aligns with the company’s manifesto pledge to support the adoption of healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices. “To that extent, we found in WhiteWave the perfect alliance, as we both believe in a healthier future and are conscious of our power to lead society forward”, said Faber. “This unique combination positions us better to address tomorrow’s consumer trends and represents a great opportunity to step change the ambition of our plan for an alimentation revolution, and to accelerate our path towards strong sustainable and profitable growth by 2020.”
The acquisition aligns with the company’s manifesto pledge to support the adoption of healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking practices
Danone’s brands include Actimel and Activia, both of which have fared well on the back of a budding appetite for healthier foods. Again, WhiteWave complements these brands perfectly, and its organic products together with its non-GMO plant-based yoghurt and milk alternatives are among the fastest growing product categories in the market. Demand for healthier foods is soaring in Europe and in the US, where WhiteWave is based.
According to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic foods and beverages in the US have doubled to $40bn in the space of a decade. In Europe, meanwhile, demand for organics is growing faster than supply.
For more of an insight into the reasons why consumers in Europe are rejecting fakery in their diets and embracing meatless and organic alternatives, look out for a special report on healthy and natural foods in the Summer issue of European CEO.