Danone Essential Dairy and Plant Based changing in North America

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Danone said the EDP organization is evolving in two ways.  Pic: Getty Images/Amguy
Danone said the EDP organization is evolving in two ways. Pic: Getty Images/Amguy

Related tags Danone Danone North America Whitewave foods plant-based

Three years after the acquisition of WhiteWave, Danone is restructuring its Essential Dairy and Plant-Based (EDP) business in North America.

Following the WhiteWave acquisition, the global EDP organization focused on implementing a three-year integration program.

In that time, the company said it established a solid operational backbone, and executed a strategy that blended the dairy and plant-based elements of the category to meet rising demand from consumers adopting flexitarian diets.

In addition, innovation capabilities were upscaled, and the $300m run-rate synergies plan at the core of WhiteWave’s acquisition was delivered.

Danone said the EDP organization is evolving in two ways.

Firstly, to elevate EDP North America at Danone executive committee level and strengthen the local focus of its organization, the business will be recognized as a separate business with new leadership, led by a new appointee.

Secondly, the company will also create a plant-based acceleration unit to leverage EDP’s expertise in this area for further growth opportunities across Danone, notably by expanding into new geographies outside North America.

As a result, Shane Grant will join Danone as executive vice president and CEO Danone North America, with effect from May 11, 2020, to lead the EDP business in that market. He will report to chairman and CEO Emmanuel Faber and will be a member of the executive committee.

Before joining Danone, Grant spent almost 20 years with The Coca-Cola Company, where he held various leadership roles in marketing, commercial and general management, including SVP Glacéau and president, Coca-Cola Canada before being appointed president of the still beverages business unit for Coca-Cola North America in January 2019.

With an ambition to increase plant-based sales worldwide from around €2bn ($2.16bn) in 2019 to around €5bn ($5.4bn) by 2025, the plant-based acceleration unit will be led by Francisco Camacho in addition to his current role in leading essential dairy and plant-based activities in Europe, Latin America, CIS and Asia, Pacific and Middle East as executive vice president, EDP International.

The plant-based acceleration unit will expand into new categories, such as coffee, and leverage plant-based expertise in categories outside EDP such as baby food and healthy ageing food solutions, and by pivoting more large brands into plant-based.

Faber said, “With a sequential acceleration of sales growth, and the targeted $300m synergies already secured, we believe it is the right moment for Danone North America to start another exciting phase of development and to fully participate, as the largest B Corp in the world, to Danone’s sustainable value creation agenda, while deploying our ‘One Planet. One Health’ framework of action.

“I am deeply thankful for Francisco Camacho’s and the EDP team for steering and supporting the successful integration phase, and delighted to welcome Shane Grant as the new leader for Danone North America, as a member of our Danone Comex team. I am also convinced that, as our large countries are now entering into a lasting covid19 recovery phase, this increased regional focus will be instrumental to adjust and execute our strategies to the local policies and realities.”

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