In an effort to give consumers more choices, Dannon will begin making a new line of yogurt products containing non-GMO ingredients. In addition, the company will now begin to voluntarily label any products that contain GMOs, to make the difference between the products clearer.
Dannon says their brands – including Danimals, Oikos and Dannon – will all eventually move towards the use of non-GMO ingredients. Starting next year, the company plans to ensure that all milk used in their products will be produced by cows fed non-GMO feed.
The company estimates this will require around 80,000 acres of farmland to be converted to grow non-GMO crops, in order to feed the dairy cows from which the milk for the yogurt products will be collected. The New York-based company says this move is a first for a big, non-organic yogurt manufacturer.
“Shoppers are our main ingredient, and what is important to them drives what we do. For this reason, the range of products we make is evolving to provide even more choices,” said Mariano Lozano, CEO of Dannon. “Transparency is the key word for this shift. To show to our consumers that in order to make a real choice, we need clear labels, today we are making a bold change and candidly discussing how transparency from brands is essential for shoppers to make real choices.”
In order to reach these objectives, Dannon has partnered with a number of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), including Green America and the Non-GMO Project. Dannon has also partnered with Just Label It! To help them add more information to their product labels. This transparency in labeling is just the first step in the company’s Dannon Pledge.
Along with increasing labeling transparency and improving sustainable dairy farming, Dannon has also vowed to create more choices for consumers, including eventually using fewer, and more natural ingredients in its Dannon, Danimals and Oikos. These three brands make up nearly 50 percent of the company’s total sales.
“Choosing to purchase foods with fewer or more natural ingredients, or with or without GMO ingredients, is an important individual decision, and we feel strongly that people have the right to know how companies are making food. This is just the first of many steps towards our continued transparency and one that we hope others will follow,” said Lozano. “And we’re not just doing this alone. Dannon is proud to have the support of the Non-GMO Project, Green America and Just Label It.”