Danone North America is set to overhaul the formulations of more than 70% of its plant-based drinks portfolio in a bid to improve the nutrient profile across its offering. Danone's plant-based beverage portfolio includes brands such as Alpro, So Delicious, and Silk.
The company has also pledged to slash the sugar content of more than 95% of its children’s products to below/at 10g per 100g of product. All new products meanwhile ‘will reach and exceed’ nutrition targets as outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Danone said.
In addition to this, US$15m will be devoted ‘to further nutrition education for consumers and healthcare providers’; US$4m will fund grants for nutrition and food security research, and US$3m will be committed to improving access to healthy products across US communities.
The announcements were made during the White House conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, which was preceded by the introduction of a new definition for ‘healthy’ foods by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As reported last week, the new regulations favor low fat, sugar and sodium content, which may excludes certain dairy products such as flavored yogurts and full-fat products, from the new labeling rules.
Where the funding will go
The most significant part of the investment will go towards raising awareness about nutrition and health among healthcare providers and consumers alike. US$15m will be invested in education initiatives that are hoped to reach more than 30 million Americans annually.
To improve the availability of healthy products, the company will back federal feeding programs such as school meals and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and continue to invest in community programs. Part of the US$3m will also go towards expanding the company’s portfolio of products eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Finally, US$4m will be dedicated to advancing food security and nutrition research, and NPOs including the Danone Institute North America. “This includes building on its support of programs across culturally diverse, underserved communities, funding teams across the United States working on innovative community impact programs covering sustainable food systems, food access, nutrition, and hunger, and supporting universities and research institutions working to understand the link between food, nutrition, and health and the role of the human microbiome,” the company stated.