Danone plans to invest US$66m over the next three years in the US, doubling the production of its subsidiary Stonyfield Farm. Stonyfield Farm is the world’s leading producer of organic yoghurts.
“We believe in Stonyfield Farm and are going to do our utmost to enable it become just as strong a brand in the next few years as our current ‘blockbusters’ – Actimel, Activia, Taillefine and Petit Gervais,” the Managing Director of Danone’s dairy products division, Bernard Hours, told French newspaper La Tribune.
Danone acquired 80% of the capital of the New Hampshire-based firm two years ago. Last year it posted a turnover of $211m compared to $144m in 2003. The French giant expects Stonyfield Farm’s turnover grow to $375m by 2008.
The US market leader for organic dairy products – with a share approaching 32% – the company will see its annual output rise to 150,000 tonnes.
Danone also plans to invest an undisclosed amount in creating an organic production line at its plant in Utah.
Since the start of the year, Stonyfield organic yoghurts have been sold in the US and Canada and in the next 12-months will be launched in an as yet unidentified European country. As with Taillefine, which in certain countries is known as Vitalinea, the Stonyfield brand name could well be modified for the European market.