Our innovation pillars
RELIABILITY is committing to nutritional quality and managing natural resources sustainably.
CONSUMERS WANT TO SEE SUSTAINABILITY IN SAFETY, HEALTH AND NUTRITION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND RESPECT FOR NATURAL CYCLES.
This is a competitive challenge for our brands. In response, research is moving toward greater consideration of environmental and health issues.
PROVIDING HEALTHY PRODUCTS
Danone Nutricia Research improves the nutritional quality of our products by developing recommendations for macronutrients and micronutrients.
In 2009, we developed the Food, Nutrition and Health Charter, setting out our commitment to better meet consumers’ nutritional needs, recommendations, tastes and incomes.
WE FORMULATE PRODUCTS TO ADDRESS NUTRITIONAL OBJECTIVES AND ADDRESS PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS
Risk assessment and control throughout the product lifecycle, from design to consumption, are more essential than ever in the food industry.
We follow rigorous procedures, actively running scientific tests on our products, consulting international experts, identifying and defining potential risks, and meeting the highest possible standards.
DANONE HAS INTRODUCED A SPECIAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME TO ENSURE THE QUALITY AND SAFETY OF OUR PRODUCTS
In 2013, our Early Life Nutrition division improved compliance even further by launching FoQual (Focus on Quality), a quality control programme managed by 50 coordinators worldwide, enhancing our commitment to delivering safe products to pregnant women, babies, and young children.
In the UK this programme includes a cross-functional quality committee, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and training for all employees.
Because we believe that Danone, as a major food company, has a critical role to play, we act extensively to support public health strategies, to inform health care professionals, to participate in consumer education, and to promote disease prevention and management through better nutrition, healthy diet and physical activity.
It is our duty and responsibility.
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION METHODS
We limit the impact of our packaging by:
• reducing materials at the source
• encouraging collection and recycling
• expanding use of recycled materials and packaging made with renewable biomass (that does not compete with food sources) instead of fossil fuels
Now, we use bottles that consume less plastic and are partially plant-based, 100% recyclable, or made mainly with recycled PET.
The water in them matches up to the same rigorous criteria: our springs benefit from an exceptional environment and special protection to preserve catchment areas, and we also ensure sustainable land management and protection of water resources with local partners, farmers and residents.
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTES TO CREATing UPSTREAM SUPPLY CHAINS, PROVIDING THE HIGHEST QUALITY RAW MATERIALS.
Danone is also actively involved locally with suppliers to promote sustainable agriculture.
PROGRESS is building bridges between science and nutrition to contribute to people’s health.
OUR CONSUMERS WANT TO DISCOVER THE DAILY BENEFITS OF FOOD.
Our Research and Development teams constantly deepen and renew their expertise by working with the world’s top experts and their knowledge of the impact that a diet has on the human body, at any age, to find nutritional solutions.
EXPERTISE SUPPORTING INNOVATION
Our Research teams’ mission is to translate knowledge and discoveries into product improvements and developments.
Our multi-disciplinary approach helps us to understand the human body’s physiological functions (digestion, cognition, renal function, immune system, cardiovascular system, etc.) and the influence diet has on these functions.
Our Research and Development teams have developed scientific expertise in increasing knowledge about intestinal physiology and microbiota, as well as lactic acid bacteria, probiotics and prebiotics.
FOCUS ON INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA
We use the latest techniques in genomics, cell biology and robotics, focusing on the areas of expertise most likely to support our categories among consumers.
We’ve made significant breakthroughs in hydration science through our studies on the relationship between nutrition and human physical and cognitive functions.
We’ve gradually demonstrated the benefits of good hydration (and, conversely, the negative effects of poor hydration) on everything from mood and memory to weight issues.
INTENSIVE RESEARCH FOR A GOOD START IN LIFE
Research suggests that development during the first 1000 days of life, from conception to age two, impacts lifelong health.
We support the World Health Organisation's (WHO) global public health recommendation calling for exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of life and continued breast-feeding along with the introduction of safe and appropriate complementary food up to two years and beyond.
Inspired by research into human milk, our scientists develop nutritional solutions to support development. They investigate the complex interaction between nutrition, digestion and microbiota, and its influence on brain development, immune and optimal growth and development.
Our experts focus on dietary interventions designed for infants and children with allergies. Metabolic programming investigates the role of early life nutrition in metabolic function, body composition and disease risk later in life.
A LONGER LIFE, IN BETTER HEALTH
Advanced Medical Nutrition Research monitors programmes to discover the impact of nutrition on helping people to live longer, healthier lives.
We focus on the role of advanced nutrition in paediatric care and metabolics, active aging and elderly care and disease.
For example, our experts in neuroscience evaluate the effects of a combination of nutrients on neurodegeneration, synaptogenesis and cognitive function.
This broad area of research includes programmes to develop advanced medical nutrition for the dietary management of adults at risk of frailty with Alzheimer’s disease and disease-related undernutrition.
CULTURES is about rooting food styles to local needs and creating a unique consumer experience.
Across five continents, we have 900 million consumers trusting us - and our products.
WE RESPECT AND INTEGRATE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AS WELL AS LOCAL DIETARY NEEDS AND EATING HABITS.
Today, more than 60% of Danone’s sales are generated in new geographies.
A LOCAL APPROACH TO HEALTH AND EATING PRACTICES
We aim to adapt to local situations rather than imposing fixed solutions.
One challenge is to find relevant nutritional solutions while complying with local food models.
Danone Nutricia Research has developed their expertise in nutrition epidemiology and food socio-anthropology to understand and identify nutritional stakes and local food practice specificities.
NutriPlanet is an original approach providing the essentials for a complete understanding of local food, nutrition and health contexts in countries where we operate.
We already use NutriPlanet in 45 countries and it focuses on understanding the nutrition and health context of the country based on data available in scientific literature. This is enhanced by interviews with local experts on specific issues such as nutritional status, public health concerns, the prevalence of major diet-related diseases, etc.
NutriPlanet also focuses on socio-cultural understanding of food to fully understand food styles, for example:
• household’s consumption practices
• ways of supply and preparation, the processing systems in place
• concepts and representations linked to diet and eating (values, beliefs, attitudes, symbols, etc.)
SENSORY AND BEHAVIOUR SCIENCE
Studies favour an emergence of consumer 'science', which makes consumers, as individuals, central to our products.
This is the focus of the 'Sensory Analysis and Behavioural Science' team, a group composed of diverse experts in aspects like sociology, psychology, sensory analysis, statistics.
The team strives to confirm that our product is the public’s favourite in terms of taste, texture, colour and size. This expertise makes it possible to combine pleasure and health.
As a result, Cow & Gate Friends in the UK, introduced a savoury range with single vegetable flavours to help babies recognise and learn to like vegetables. The range also reflects the progression of texture to meet babies' needs.
WE HAVE DEVELOPED AN INNOVATIVE LOCAL APPROACH THAT ALLOWS US SIMULTANEOUSLY TO UNDERSTAND, ANALYSE AND TRANSFORM NUTRITIONAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH DATA, AS WELL AS DATA ON THE DIETARY HABITS OF THE POPULATION. THIS ALLOWS US THEREFORE TO OFFER TAILOR-MADE SOLUTIONS, WHICH ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE ADOPTED.
WELL-BEING and nutrition share a crucial link, but not everyone knows this.
SCIENTIFIC STUDIES MAKE IT CLEAR: DIET IS AN ESSENTIAL AND DAILY COMPONENT OF GOOD HEALTH.
Our teams’ role is to advise, inform, and provide the guidelines and tools needed to share dietary recommendations, at all stages of life, with everyone.
A POSITIVE TAKE ON NUTRITION
Nutrition and lifestyle are unanimously recognised as key factors in establishing and maintaining health and well-being.
In the UK, making improvements in nutrition is a public health challenge, either to tackle non-communicable diseases (such as obesity and diabetes) or to put a stop to malnutrition.
Danone is actively finding solutions to these challenges through our interaction with healthcare professionals, including local health authorities and scientific communities.
INCREASING AWARENESS OF CATEGORY IMPACT
An international knowledge base on yogurt, focusing on its nutritional properties and contribution to nutritional needs and dietary balance, is bringing our Dairy division new recognition.
Our Waters division is continually raising awareness of the importance of good hydration, so that hydration and water become synonymous in areas where consumers traditionally favour sugary drinks and sodas.
WE’VE INCREASED OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES FOR PRODUCT CATEGORIES RECOGNISED AS BENEFICIAL
This is as a result of Danone Institutes’ initiatives.
Nutrition in early life, particularly in the first three years, is crucial for a child’s growth and development. A young child needs up to six times more micronutrients per kg of body weight than an adult.
Danone Nutricia Research teams work locally with experts and healthcare professionals, contributing to campaigns raising awareness on the importance of early life nutrition.
Medical Nutrition also focus on educating people about the specific nutritional needs associated with age, health status and disease.