Danone takes affordable nutrition into Bangladesh

By Anita Awbi

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Danone

French food giant Danone is set to announce plans for a new dairy
plant in Bangladesh to provide nutritious foods to low-income
consumers, following successful entry into a number of similar
emerging markets.

Expansion into the region will see the world's largest dairy producer join forces with the Grameen bank, run by local tycoon Professor Muhammad Yunus.

The high profile venture, to be revealed this Thursday, will initially produce a range of enriched yoghurts in a bid to encourage increased consumption of dairy products in the country. But the partnership, called Grameen Danone Foods, could eventually branch out into functional drinks and bottled waters.

Imamus Sultan, director of the Grameen-Danone project, told local media yesterday: "Initially we're not going for the large factories that Danone have in France. Rather, we'll go for a prototype factory, and to start with, we'll produce fortified yoghurts rich in nutritional value."

This move follows Danone's ambitious 'affordability initiative' to drive into emerging markets providing products with enhanced nutritional value for consumers with lower incomes.

Under the scheme Danone, famous for Activa fortified yoghurts and the Actimel probiotic range, has opened plants in China, Indonesia, India and North and South Africa.

Today, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East regions account for 24 per cent of group sales.

The firm hopes to emulate its success in Indonesia, which saw the launch of popular brand Biskuat biscuits, containing extra calcium and vitamins. The company then introduced Milkuat, a dairy drink with added nutrients, which sold more than 10 million bottles in the first three months. It now holds an 11 per cent market share in Indonesia.

But Danone currently estimates global consumption of milk-based products to be around four kilos per person each year, with the average rising to 30kg per person in France and Spain.

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