French dairy giant Danone collected another plant-based pioneer last week with the acquisition of Follow Your Heart. Danone obtained the plant-based brand through a share purchase agreement where the company purchased 100% of the shares of Earth Island, the parent company of Follow Your Heart. This transaction follows a greater trend for the dairy company, which has spent the last two decades enhancing its plant-based profile with companies like Silk and So Delicious.

Dairy Company Acquires Vegan Brand Follow Your Heart

Follow Your Heart is known for its early push during the plant-based movement, starting in 1970 as a vegan lunch counter in Los Angeles. Since then, the company has launched a slew of important plant-based alternatives such as Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise) and a number of dairy-free cheeses. Follow Your Heart also launched a selection of plant-based salad dressings and a VeganEgg. The brand’s growth significantly rose over the last decade, and in 2019, Chief Operating Officer Martin Kruger claimed that Follow Your Heart’s revenues grew fivefold since 2010.

Danone’s acquisition of Follow Your Heart is the latest of a number of plant-based companies to join its roster. The company supervises Silk, Alpro, and So Delicious, all pioneers of the plant-based movement. Danone’s actions stem from the company’s promises to greatly expand its plant-based sector, pledging that it will triple its sale in the plant-based arena to $5.7 billion by 2025. By adding Follow Your Heart to its repertoire, the company is bolstering both its vegan selections and its brand recognition, especially in the United States.

Danone Looks to Grow Plant-Based Portfolio

Starting in 2017, Danone became a plant-based food leader with the $12.5 billion purchase of WhiteWave Foods. The company’s promises to expand its plant-based sector continue to be fulfilled. The most recent earnings report released the day after the acquisition of Follow Your Heart showed that 10% of the company’s sales come from its plant-based products. Together, the company’s plant-based sales expanded by 15% in the last year, according to the report.

The company’s North American CEO Shane Grant announced that Danone plans to accelerate its fast-growing categories that resonate with its consumers. Last year, Danone funneled resources into a number of sustainable projects and alternative proteins including Laird Superfood, Forager Project, and Nature’s Fund. The company’s momentum exhibits a larger industry push, where a company previously founded solely on animal products moves towards sustainable practices. With the market rapidly changing, dairy giants and other companies need to shift with a movement spearheaded 50 years ago by companies like Follow Your Heart.

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