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Danone (France) takes over Flanders-based Alpro

In early April, French food multinational Danone acquired plant-based dairy alternatives company Alpro, which is based in Ghent (Flanders) and part of the American WhiteWave Foods group. The takeover is the logical next step after major investments WhiteWave has funneled into Alpro over the last few years, highlighted by their nomination for Flanders Investment & Trade’s 2016 Investment of the Year Trophy.

Plant-based alternatives fuel the dairy industry worldwide

Alpro’s CEO Bernard Deryckere is over the moon: “Alpro will be a key contributor to Danone’s new plant-based business unit that they created following the takeover of our company. We will use our expertise to fuel plant-based business growth, together with Danone. I will personally lead the new business unit.” 

From local expertise to a global network

Today, Alpro can be found in 54 European countries. As a part of Danone, the company aims to take the business beyond Europe. Deryckere stresses the role of Danone: “We will focus on the countries in which Danone is already active. This way, we can use their extensive local networks. For example, if we want to open new production sites, we can rely on existing Danone factories.” 

Significant market potential in Flanders and beyond

The takeover by Danone confirms Deryckere’s strong belief in his plant-based project. “Many multinationals try to roll out activities in plant-based dairy, but more often than not, they are blinded by other priorities. Our expertise in and insight into the needs of local consumers allows us to focus on this promising niche.”

The results speak for themselves: in Belgium, 8% of the dairy market is already plant-based, which is significant compared to 4.2% in the rest of Europe. In addition, Alpro has doubled in size over the last four years, with a turnover of EUR 555 million in 2016. As a Danone subsidiary, Alpro is planning to continue conquering the dairy market around the world.

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Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
5 May 2017

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