Danone North America Announces $22M Investment in Nutrition, Education, and Accessibility to Support Better Health Outcomes
Danone North America, the purpose-driven food and beverage leader, today joined the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to announce a $22 million investment by 2030 to improve access to, and availability of, nutritious and health-promoting foods in the U.S. Danone's investments will serve to improve food access and affordability, integrate nutrition and health, empower consumers with the knowledge to make healthy choices, and enhance nutrition and food security research, and include:
- Devoting $15 million by 2030 to further nutrition education for consumers and healthcare providers.
- Investing $3 million by 2030 to improve access and affordability of nutrient-dense and health-promoting products, especially for those in underserved communities.
- Committing $4 million to enhance nutrition and food security research through grants, industry collaboration, and non-profit organizations, such as the Danone Institute North America.
- Continuing to offer low and no sugar options, specifically limiting sugar content in more than 95% of its children's products and increasing the nutrient density of more than 70% of its plant-based beverages.
Shane Grant, CEO at Danone North America, who joined the White House conference as a speaker, said: "We are honored to have the opportunity to be part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – an event which provides a historic opportunity to engage stakeholders across the food system to address these critical topics." He added, "At Danone, our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible is embedded into everything we do and for the last 50 years we've worked to create both shareholder and societal value through what we call our Dual Project. The investment we announced today illustrates our mission in action."
More than 50 years have passed since the first and only White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health was held in 1969. The 2022 event aims to catalyze the public and private sectors around a coordinated strategy to accelerate progress and drive transformative change in the U.S. to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, and close the disparities surrounding them.
Empowering Consumer Choice
Diet-related diseases lead to more than one million preventable deaths annually1, affecting communities across the United States. To equip healthcare providers (HCPs) and consumers with the knowledge to make informed decisions about nutrition and their health, Danone North America will invest $15 million by 2030 in multi-stakeholder education initiatives, reaching more than 30 million Americans annually. The company will provide healthcare providers and retail partners with accurate, science-based, health and nutrition information and partner with select retailers to pilot health and wellness engagement activities, with a specific focus on vulnerable populations in the United States.
Improving Access and Affordability
Danone North America will invest more than $3 million by 2030 to improve access and affordability of nutrient-dense and health-promoting products, especially for those in underserved communities, through the support of federal feeding programs including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and school meals. Danone, along with the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, has long supported WIC and advocated for funding to support more than 7 million eligible mothers and children, as well as to reduce barriers to participate in WIC, modernize the program, and expand nutritious options for participants. Through this investment, Danone aims to expand the number of eligible products in its portfolio for WIC programs, with a focus on states with large Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) populations. Additionally, Danone North America will continue to invest in community programs that are making a meaningful impact on residents.
Integrating Nutrition and Health
Currently, 70% of Danone North America's portfolio of foods and beverages is within a health-promoting category, such as milk, yogurt, fortified plant-based milk, and plant-based yogurt. New targets set today will focus on nutrient density in children's products and plant-based products, pledging that more than 95% of all children's products (by kilotons sold) will have a total sugar content at or below 10 grams per 100-gram of product and enhancing the nutrient profile of more than 70% of its plant-based beverages. Additionally, the company will continue to build out low and no sugar added options, illustrated by the recent launch of its Dannon Light + Fit Zero Sugar offering, and ensure that 100% of new products for children will reach and exceed nutrition targets as outlined in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Enhancing Nutrition and Food Security Research
The company will also invest $4 million to enhance nutrition and food security research through grants, industry collaboration, and non-profit organizations such as the Danone Institute North America. This includes building on its support of programs across culturally diverse, underserved communities, funding teams across the United States working on innovative community impact programs covering sustainable food systems, food access, nutrition, and hunger, and supporting universities and research institutions working to understand the link between food, nutrition, and health and the role of the human microbiome.