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Dannon Yogurt in Schools: Background & Facts

The Dannon Company Supports USDA Proposal That Would Provide Schools a New Yogurt Purchasing Option With Significant Savings

USDA Program Change Would Pave Way for More Affordable, Kid-Friendly Yogurt in School Meals

WHITE PLAINS, NY, OCTOBER 28, 2015 – School districts throughout the U.S.could have a new option for procuring Dannon yogurt at a significant savings if a proposal to add fresh fluid milk to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commodity foods program becomes final.

The USDA’s commodity foods program allows school districts to leverage the purchasing power of the Federal government to procure select commodities such as meat, grains, fruits and vegetables – typically at a lower cost – for use in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, as well as other food assistance programs. In some cases, school districts send these items to a manufacturer (also called a processor) to convert the bulk commodity into a finished product.

The USDA shared today during its annual industry meeting to discuss commodity purchase programs and USDA foodsthat it is considering adding fresh fluid milk to the list of commodities available to school districts for use by processors, effective for the 2016 – 2017 school year. If added to the commodity foods program, schools will have the option to direct their commodity milk toward the production of Dannon yogurt. Although pricing varies based on many factors, Dannon may be able to providethe same high-quality yogurt to the school districts at an estimated potential 30-40 percent discount.

“We applaud USDA for considering this game-changing proposal. Making milk available for yogurt production at a more affordable price is a win first and foremost for American school children. Kids love yogurt, and it’s healthful and nutrient dense,” said Carolyn Gooch, National Account Manager for Dannon and the originator of the idea. “It’s also a win for school districts at a time when they need it most. The ability to use commodity milk for yogurt gives school foodservice teams another option to help meet the triple bottom line of serving meals that appeal to students, meeting updated nutrition standards, and doing so efficiently and within increasingly tight budgets.”

If fluid milk is added to the commodity foods program, as proposed by Dannon, school districts that wish to take advantage of the cost-saving opportunity would allocate commodity funds to fluid milk for conversion to yogurt. Following competitive procurement rules, schools would purchase Dannon yogurt from their selected distributor at a discount.

Dannon has madedelicious, healthful kid-friendly yogurt for U.S. schools since 1998 and is the leading provider of yogurt to schools and retailers nationwide. As part of its ambition to have Americans enjoy the benefits of yogurt every day, Dannon – the world’s largest maker of yogurt and market leader in the U.S. – has been working closely with USDA to develop the new offering. If finalized, school districts could direct their dairy commodity dollars toward all products in the Dannon school foodservice portfolio, including traditional, Greek and bulk yogurt used in recipes. Under the new proposed program, Dannon would begin working with districts on their 2016 – 2017 school year planning and purchasing activities as early as January 2016 in addition to how it currently works with school districts. To learn more about how using commoditymilk for yogurt production, school districts may contact Dannon at or visit

“Yogurt is well-liked by kids of all ages and cultures, which means that it can help reduce plate waste in the cafeteria.Most yogurts are good sources of high-quality protein and nutrients that kids need more of like calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Dannon urges USDA to move quickly to finalize this program change that will give schools greater flexibility to serve yogurt, and most importantly, delivermuch needed nutrition to students in a delicious food they already know and love,” notedGooch.

In addition to its nutritional value, versatility and broad appeal, yogurt is also a practical complement to encourage consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, particularly when combined in smoothies, parfaits and dips, and is a USDA-approved meat alternate in school meals. Approximately 60 million pounds of yogurt is served in schools each year.

About The Dannon Company
Headquartered in White Plains, New York, The Dannon Company has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, West Jordan, UT, and Portland, OR, which make more than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured refrigerated and frozen dairy products to serve its retail and foodservice customers. Dannon brings health through food to as many people as possible via its diverse offering of delicious and wholesome yogurts. Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. For more information, visit


Media Contact:
Michael Neuwirth

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