Dannon Commits to 2016 Improvements in Yogurt Nutrition

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Mar 14, 2014

Dannon Co. on March 14 joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) with a commitment to improve by 10 percent the nutrient density of its products --in part by increasing nutrients that are encouraged in a healthy diet, while reducing total sugar and fat. And the company will invest in nutrition education and research focused on healthy eating habits.

Dannon plans to achieve these goals by 2016 through a combination of new innovations and reformulating existing products. Recipe developers will build on their learnings from last year's reformulation of the company's children's product, Danimals smoothies, in which the company reduced sugar by 25 percent while maintaining great taste, texture and convenience. Dannon's new introduction of a Greek yogurt, Danimals SuperStars, specifically designed for the preferences and nutritional needs of kids, already meets the criteria announced today.

Specifically, Dannon pledges to do the following by 2016:

1. Improve the nutrient density by 10 percent of the Dannon product portfolio overall by increasing nutrients that are encouraged in the diet and decreasing total sugar and fat.

2. Reduce the amount of total sugar in Dannon products to 23g or less (per 6-oz. serving) in 100 percent of products for children and 70 percent of the company's products overall.

3. Reduce the amount of fat in Dannon products, so that 75 percent of products will be low-fat or fat-free.

4. Invest $3 million in nutrition education and research focused on healthy eating habits.

Dannon's commitment goals are based on the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which recommend that Americans consume more nutrient-dense foods – foods that provide more vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and potassium, and less fat, sugar and salt. Most yogurts - already nutrient-dense - provide three of the four nutrients found lacking in American diets: calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

Just two weeks ago, the U.S. government authorized the inclusion of yogurt in certain Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food packages, recognizing the importance of yogurt to an increasingly diverse and vulnerable part of the U.S. population.