This week, major yogurt brand Dannon announced plans that will improve the company’s sustainable agriculture practices for its milk supply, increase transparency for its portfolio of products and evolve to more natural and fewer ingredients for Dannon’s three flagship brands--Dannon, Oikos and Danimals.
To achieve these goals, Dannon says it will use more natural ingredients that are not synthetic and do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This means that the feed of the cows used for Dannon’s products will also be nonGMO. All of this will come to fruition within the next 3 years, brand by brand.
To ensure full transparency for consumers, Dannon also commits to declare by December 2017 nationwide on label the presence of GMO ingredients in its products. In the meantime, if one state implements a GMO labeling requirement--since Dannon does favor a nationwide labeling system--it will label the presence of GMOs nationwide according to the state requirements.
The first impact of these changes will be visible starting July 2016, when the company will move to more natural ingredients which do not contain GMOs for its flagship brands Oikos, Danimals and Dannon. These brands represent 50 percent of the company’s current volume. For the company’s foundation ingredient--milk--Dannon will work with its farmer partners to ensure that the cows that supply Dannon’s milk for these flagship products will be fed nonGMO feed, a first for a leading nonorganic yogurt maker. This plan will be implemented in 2017 and should be complete by the end of 2018.
To further improve transparency, by December 2017, Dannon’s labels will note the presence of GMO ingredients in all products in which such ingredients remain. Looking further into the future, Dannon’s ambition is to also evolve the other brands in its portfolio, beyond Dannon, Oikos and Danimals, over time.
Other brands that have announced similar plans so far this year include Del Monte, ConAgra, General Mills, Campbell's Soup, Kellogg's and Mars.