The Dannon Company will find out in the new year if probiotic yogurts are popular enough to travel well across the Atlantic.

The US-based company will introduce the Activia range of yogurts – available in France since 1987 – to the US market, from the beginning of January 2006.

Activia contains healthy living microorganisms and is designed to regulate the digestive system within two weeks when eaten daily. It is one of Groupe Danone’s best-selling yogurt products globally, generating EUR650m in 2004 sales, primarily in Europe and Asia.

The probiotic yogurt and dairy drinks market is worth around US$10bn globally, and the US functional yogurt market is growing faster than 90%. The Dannon Company has already launched its DanActive probiotic dairy drink in the US.

Dannon president and CEO Juan Carlos Dalto said: “Dannon is the first name in yogurt in the US, and in bringing Activia and its benefits to the American marketplace we will continue to build our leadership with the next innovation in yogurt – probiotics. Americans are increasingly looking to food for benefits beyond basic nutrition, and probiotics, do just this while accelerating growth in the already expanding yogurt category.”

The company’s marketing and advertising campaign will begin in February 2006. It will be sold in strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, peach, prune and mixed berry flavours, costing US$2.49 for four and US$4.49 for an eight-pack.

Activia works by helping to reduce long intestinal transit time – the time it takes food to pass through the digestive system. Clinical studies prove that Activia can help reduce transit time by up to 40%, depending on levels consumed and the demographic profile.