Nearly half (49 percent) of Gen Z consumers admit to feeling ashamed while ordering dairy milk in public. The decades of "Got Milk?" campaigns and regular dairy consumption are quickly becoming relics of the not-so-distant past as younger Americans opt for healthier, more sustainable options. But one question lingers: Is plant-based milk actually healthier? Or do plant-based consumers abandon nutrients when they choose dairy-free alternatives?

Danone, the international food giant responsible for Silk, So Delicious, and Vega, intends to ensure that its plant-based milk products contain optimal nutrient levels when compared to conventional cow's milk. The company just announced that it will devote $22 million toward wellness initiatives that will improve its plant-based brands, providing American consumers with the healthiest plant-based milk alternatives available.

Danone revealed its plans during the recent White House conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, hosted by President Joe Biden to discuss solutions to hunger and food insecurity in the United States. The major food conglomerate intends to reformulate over 70 percent of its plant-based beverages to optimize their nutrient density by 2030.

We are honored to have the opportunity to be part of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – an event which provides a historic opportunity to engage stakeholders across the food system to address these critical topics," Shane Grant, CEO at Danone North America, said during a conference at the White House this week.

“At Danone, our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible is embedded into everything we do, and for the last 50 years, we’ve worked to create both shareholder and societal value through what we call our Dual Project. The investment we announced today illustrates our mission in action.”

Danone Wants to Make Products Healthier

Danone revealed its plans to update its product portfolio's nutritional profile in response to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement that it plans to revise the requirements for "healthy" food labels. The FDA aims to limit the saturated fat, sugar, and sodium contents of "healthy" labeled products. Immediately after, the International Dairy Foods Association urged the FDA to allow dairy manufacturers to be allowed higher sugar content for taste.

Now, Danone will spend the remainder of the decade improving its product selection to cater to health-conscious Americans. The new wellness initiative will also tackle food insecurity through plant-based and sustainable solutions.

  • $15 million will be dedicated to expanding nutrition education efforts for healthcare providers and consumers nationwide.
  • Danone will invest $3 million to expand the accessibility and improve the affordability of nutrient-filled, health-centric products.
  • $4 million will be allocated to enhancing nutrition and food security research through industry collaboration, non-profits, and research grants.
  • Plans to limit sugar content in over 95 percent of its children’s products, while also increasing the nutrient density of over 70 percent of its current plant-based beverages.

White House’s First-Ever Conference on Nutrition

Last week, the White House hosted its first conference on health and nutrition in over 50 years, inviting hundreds of attendees including doctors, food company executives, farmers, and policymakers, as well as non-profits, all called on to work together and commit over $8 billion toward the goal of ending hunger and make nutritious, healthy foods affordable and accessible to all Americans.

During the conference, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) –– a national nonprofit working to improve food equity –– unveiled new corporate partners in its commitment to add 100 million additional servings of vegetables, fruits, and beans to the U.S. marketplace by 2025. The campaign dedicated to combating food insecurity enlisted major companies and organizations including Dole Packaged Foods, Instacart, International Fresh Produce Association, KinderCare Learning Companies, and the National Automatic Merchandising Association.

“In every country in the world, in every state in this country, no matter what else divides us, if a parent cannot feed a child, there’s nothing else that matters to that parent," President Joe Biden said during the White House conference.

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