CHINA – Danone, a multinational food-products corporation has announced a series of investment totalling around €100 million (US$114.3m) to strengthen Specialized Nutrition in China.
According to the company, the investments will enable it to broaden and deepen its range of nutritional products and services that are tailored to Chinese health needs, traditions and tastes.
The investments include the opening of an open-science research center based in Shanghai and the expansion of capacity at its Jiangsu facility to further develop offerings in FSMP (Food for Special Medical Purposes).
The new Danone Open Science Research Center for Life Transforming Nutrition in Shanghai will serve as Danone’s platform to conduct studies and research in the region, notably focusing on breast milk and gut health.
It will enable Danone to develop more relevant nutrition products and services, building on local knowledge and science, and contributing to the country’s ‘Healthy China 2030’ agenda.
Fulfilling its role as an “open” science center for collaboration, this facility will bring together public sector, medical and academic institutions, business partners and consumers, and will combine the skills of over 100 researchers in the fields of nutrition and consumer science, quality and food safety, and digital innovation.
In Wuxi, Jiangsu province, where Danone’s advanced medical nutrition facility is located, the food giant expects investment to enable the expansion of its FSMP offerings.
It will enable it to develop protein-based liquid nutritional supplement solutions to nutritionally support healthy ageing and facilitate recovery of patients who are ill.
The investment also includes the acquisition of Murray Goulburn Dairy (Qingdao) Co Ltd from Saputo Dairy Australia. This brings with it a registered infant milk formula brand and a facility located in Qingdao.
Completed in June 2020, the transaction means Danone now has its first production facility for infant milk formula in China.
The company has also announced that its Early Life Nutrition business unit in the country has achieved B Corp certification.
This means that Danone becomes the biggest B Corp in Asia, which fully embodies the reality of its commitment towards the well-being of local populations and the preservation of local environment.
It represents also an important step towards Danone’s accelerated ambition to become B Corp certified by 2025.
Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta, Executive Vice President, Specialized Nutrition said, “For some thirty years Danone has been serving the needs of people in China, for both early life nutrition and nutrition for those ill or aged.
“The opening of the Open Science Research Center, the acquisition of local manufacturing capabilities and the B Corp certification are key milestones for Danone’s presence in China as they will allow us to further invest responsibly in the promotion of healthy and balanced diets, grounded in scientific research and tailored to Chinese nutritional and health needs, habits, and traditions.
“This investment further demonstrates Danone’s belief in the long-term growth potential of the Infant Milk Formula and medical nutrition market in China and in the power of nutrition to positively impact health trajectories.”
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