Meet Dannon. We're pretty lively for being nearly 75 years old. Explore our tasty history.
After spending his early years in the yogurt-loving Balkan region of Europe, Isaac Carasso sought to return his family to their origins in Barcelona, Spain. Along the way, he became aware of scientific advances by Elie Metchnikoff with fermenting milk at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Knowing how delicious and nutritious yogurt is after he moved to Barcelona, Spain he established the "Danone" yogurt company, named after his young son Daniel. Isaac invented yogurt's first industrial manufacturing process by combining the traditional method of making yogurt with the cultures that had been isolated in Paris.
Isaac's son, Daniel Carasso, who had spent a decade learning the family business in Spain, moved to France and brought Danone yogurt to the place where our global headquarters are today.
As World War II engulfed Europe, Daniel Carasso moved to the United States. He changed the name Danone to Dannon to make the brand sound more American and founded Dannon Milk Products, Inc. Dannon was the first American yogurt company, located in the Bronx, New York City. The following year, Carasso met Joe Metzger, who joined in him in the new company and would later take a leading role in Dannon's future.
Dannon had faced a major hurdle since its inception: few Americans had ever tried yogurt even though it was a dietary staple in Europe. Distribution remained very limited at first, confined to the local New York area. In 1947, Dannon made a breakthrough by introducing yogurt with strawberry fruit on the bottom. This innovation appealed to Americans who found the sweetness of the fruit to be the perfect complement for the tart taste of yogurt.
The Company grew rapidly and moved to a larger facility in Long Island City while expanding its customer area to Philadelphia and Boston. Dannon also introduced a lowfat yogurt designed to appeal to health enthusiasts and dieters.
Daniel Carasso returned to Paris to manage the family's growing businesses in France and Spain. He handed the management and the presidency of Dannon to Joe Metzger helped by his son Juan with the objective of looking for an eventual buyer. Daniel Carasso stayed in regular contact with Dannon by frequent trips to America and regular correspondence with the Metzgers.
Dannon Milk Products was sold to Beatrice Foods. Over the next decade, Beatrice embarked on a rapid westward expansion of Dannon, acquiring a second manufacturing facility in Minster, OH, which is Dannon’s largest manufacturing facility today in the USA.
While Dannon grew in America, Daniel Carasso led Danone to rapid development in Europe. To accelerate its diversification and world expansion, Danone merged with Gervais, the leading fresh cheese business in France.
Dannon's westward expansion results in the acquisition of a second manufacturing facility in Minster, Ohio.
Antoine Riboud lays out his business vision – a dual commitment to business development and social progress. A year later, Gervais-Danone merges with BSN, the leading glass container and beverages company. The resulting company, BSN Gervais-Danone, will become one of the world's largest food manufacturers serving customers in 30 countries worldwide. Antoine Riboud is CEO.
Dannon’s memorable and successful “Soviet Georgian” ad campaign promotes the nutrition benefits of eating yogurt.
Dannon sponsors the U.S. Ski Team at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Australia
Dannon uses the now iconic Roller Skater in its advertising to promote Dannon’s nutrition benefits.
With our Fort Worth, TX, plant opening, Dannon became the first branded perishable dairy product to be sold coast to coast in the United States.
BSN (Boussois Sauchon-Neuvesel) among the world’s largest food manufacturers buys Dannon Milk Products, Inc. from Beatrice Foods and names The Dannon Company, Inc. Dannon is a proud member of the Danone family of companies.
Dannon moved its headquarters from Long Island to White Plains, NY. During the next decade, Dannon introduced a series of highly successful products such as Dannon Light, Blended, Sprinkl'ins, Danimals and Double Delights.
Dannon Light is launched.
Yogurt blended with fruit is introduced.
BSN Gervais Danone changes its name to Danone. Dannon Danimals is launched specifically for the benefit of kids.
A new manufacturing facility in West Jordan, Utah opened for the production of Dannon's former Natural Spring Water. The facility transitions in May of 2000 to the production of Dannon drinkable yogurt. Now the facility only produces yogurt.
Dannon introduces Activia® to great success. Activia surpasses $100 million in net sales in its first year.
Danone acquires Portland, Oregon based YoCream, a leading U.S. producer of frozen yogurt. Dannon introduces its first Greek yogurt in the market.
The Dannon Discovery and Innovation Center opens at headquarters in White Plains, NY, representing an unprecedented investment in people and technology to foster greater collaboration in the pursuit of our mission.
Dannon is the first yogurt to advertise during the most watched TV event of the year – the Big Game. The first light Greek yogurt, Light & Fit® Greek Nonfat Yogurt is introduced. The Yogurt Culture Company opens in NYC.
Dannon announces it has successfully reduced the total sugar of its most popular kids product - Danimals Smoothies – by 25% while keeping the same great taste and nutrition. Activia Greek Yogurt is introduced for fans of Activia who also enjoy the thick creamy texture of Greek yogurt.
Dannon again advertises during the Big Game to promote its Oikos Greek yogurt and encourage Americans to make better food choices.