LONDON — Plant-based “milks” are mainstream products, and Danone S.A. sees additional opportunity to expand its plant-based portfolio into ice creams, coffee creamers, cheese, desserts, ready-to-drink coffee and much more. Basically, the company is focused on offering plant-based alternatives to dairy products around the world.
“…we will reach €5 billion in (plant-based) sales,” said Francisco Camacho, executive vice-president of Essential Dairy & Plant-Based (E.D.P.) for Danone, on Oct. 22 during the company's annual investor day in London. “This is what in the business lingo you would call a big, hairy and audacious goal.”
Danone’s current E.D.P. business generates €13 billion in annual sales and represents approximately 53% of company sales. Plant-based products generate €1.7 billion in sales for the company, and of that, beverages make up €1 billion in revenues.
Plant-based beverages and yogurts are considered the “core” of the company’s portfolio, accounting for approximately 80% of sales. Key brands owned by Danone include Silk, Alpro, So Delicious and Vega. The company’s largest markets for plant-based products are the United States and Europe.
To reach the goal of €5 billion in sales, Mr. Camacho said Danone will rely on adjacencies, innovation and different ingredients.
“Ice cream is a €62 billion market,” Mr. Camacho said. “Today, less than 2% is in plant-based. We introduced Alpro ice cream at the beginning of this year (and) it’s growing very strongly. We introduced also a new version of So Delicious (mousse) … this is a tremendous opportunity for us moving forward.”
Future innovation will include such products as Good Plants, which will be sold under the company’s Light & Fit brand and is a plant-based yogurt with probiotics. Additional plant-based innovation will include a no-added-sugar variety of Alpro frozen dessert and a high-protein variety of Vega yogurt.
New plant-based ingredients Danone is working with include cashew, coconut, rice and oats.
“…We are not just talking about the mainstream ingredients we have today," Mr. Camacho said. “…We are exploring and expanding into the ingredients range according to what consumers demand in each … market.”
Under the Silk brand, Danone is offering Oat Yeah, an oat-based beverage. Oats also are featured in the Alpro oat beverage for food service baristas. In the United Kingdom, the company is introducing the Liv brand, which is a shot that is made from oats and features probiotics.
“…We are perfectly equipped to drive these (businesses) from the €1.7 billion that we have today to €5 billion in 2025,” Mr. Camacho said. “By then we’ll have 50% in the core, 50% in the adjacencies. We have a full range of brands (in) these categories. It will become … something that is a very European- and U.S.-centric into something more global, and we have a full ingredient spectrum.”