View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
November 18, 2021

Danone to convert dairy factory for Alpro use

The French company said it wants to “seize growth opportunities in plant products and meet new consumer expectations”.

French dairy major Danone is to spend EUR43m (US$49m) converting a domestic dairy factory into a production base for its plant-based Alpro brand.

Danone said in a statement issued yesterday (17 November) that it will convert its Villecomtal-sur-Arros dairy plant in southern France to “seize growth opportunities in plant products and meet new consumer expectations”.

The move, which will see new production lines installed, follows a EUR16.5m investment earlier this year in its Alpro plant in Issenheim in eastern France.

Danone said the Villecomtal-sur-Arros investment forms part of a EUR67m project, which will also see EUR24m spent at dairies of Bailleul (Hauts De France), Pays de Bray (Normandy) and Saint-Just-Chaleyssin (Auvergne Rhône-Alpes). The company wants to adapt their production capacity for brands including Activia, Danette and Light & Free.

The transformation of the Villecomtal-sur-Arros site is planned for the autumn of 2022 with the first dairy milk-alternative drink products under the Alpro brand produced there in the second quarter of 2023.

Explaining the rationale behind its decision, Danone said the French plant-food market has tripled in the past seven years and is expected to grow by a further 50% by 2025.

It said it wants to increase its domestic production capacity of plant-based drinks by more than 25% by 2024.

François Eyraud, managing director of Danone Fresh Products France, said: “We observe consumers’ interest in plant-based recipes, which are a simple solution for those who want a more varied and diversified diet.

“This project would allow Villecomtal-sur-Arros to support a growing market by becoming a benchmark site in Europe for the production of vegetable drinks mainly made from oats, while reducing its 70% carbon footprint. It would also allow us to continue to support the development of our dairies in the heart of French territories.”

Danone acquired Alpro in 2017 via its $12.5bn acquisition of US organic food producer WhiteWave.

In February, it announced it was acquiring US plant-based foods specialist Earth Island.

Speaking in October, as the company released its third-quarter results, Danone CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said that while its plant-based portfolio had delivered “strong” mid-single-digit growth, it was “definitely not at the level of our expectations”.

He said plant-based performance in North America was “penalised this quarter by supply and logistic issues”. However, in Europe, de Saint-Affrique said “Alpro delivered another quarter of double-digit growth, notably led by a strong performance of the recently re-launched oat range that registered another quarter of strong growth”.

Sales for Danone’s EDP division – of which plant-based is part – were up by 4.1% in the quarter to EUR3.26bn on a year-on-year basis.

Related Companies

Topics in this article:
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every other month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Food