Danone CEO Says Plant-Based Could Become as Big as Dairy in U.S.

( Danone - Facebook )

Danone's U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber.

The unit, which includes Silk and So Delicious, currently generates less than $1 billion in sales, compared with the $2 billion in dairy. But the category is growing faster as consumers race to adopt vegan alternatives to everything from yogurt to hamburgers.

“Penetration is very high and it’s very widely adopted already,” Faber said in an interview at a company event in Barcelona.

Danone placed a $10 billion bet on veganism with its 2017 acquisition of WhiteWave Foods and plans to triple its total plant-based revenue to about 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) by 2025. The company has been expanding the Alpro brand in Europe with new products like vegan ice cream. Danone will start selling plant-based yogurts under Activia, its largest brand, in countries like Spain, France and the U.K. within the next 12 months.

Dairy isn’t dead, though, with Faber pointing to fast-growing yogurt segments like high-protein and probiotics that have been making a comeback among consumers.

 
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