Danone looks to ride healthy food revolution wave
Emmanuel Faber, CEO of Danone, wants the world's biggest yogurt maker to play a central role in the revolution sweeping the global food industry as it tries to respond to a consumer shift towards healthy eating.
As more consumers, notably the "Millennial" generation, opt for healthier diets and a more socially responsible way of life, Danone, along with rivals such as Nestle, have been seeking to adapt.
Faber unveiled a new company "signature" dubbed "One Planet. One Health" for Danone on Thursday in Berlin at the annual meeting of the Consumer Foods Forum, a gathering of the world's biggest retailers and packaged food companies.
"A revolution is cooking, what are we going to do about it?" Faber told the meeting, warning that consumers will turn their backs on big food companies if they do not do more to address issues like obesity, inequality and climate change.
"We are losing them. They are getting out of our shops, out of our brands. They are going for food without the food industry. Not only without us, but maybe against us," he said.
Danone has bought U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave in a $12.5 billion deal, bringing the company more into line with healthier eating trends.
The deal also aims to boost growth at Danone, whose shares trade at a discount to rivals. The company's depressed valuation was highlighted this week as a reason for it being touted as a potential bid target.
Faber told Reuters that Danone, which has no large controlling shareholder, was "no more and no less than usual" vulnerable to a possible takeover bid.