Danone has opened its renovated Thailand yogurt plant that closed eight months ago after serious flooding. Danone, maker of Activia yogurt, says it expects within six months to see sales to return to levels seen before the flood. Thailand's yogurt market is expected to grow 10% this year.
Gustavo Valle, CEO of Dannon, the U.S. yogurt business owned by Danone, predicts "double-digit growth on a long-term basis" and expects to double per-capita yogurt consumption within four years. He said the company's yogurt brands, including Activia, are growing 15% in 2010.
Functional food brands such as Becel's line of cholesterol-lowering dairy products and Danone's Activia probiotic yogurt usually deliver on their claims, but are not necessarily equally beneficial for all consumers, some nutritionists say.
U.S. News & World Report columnist Dr. Bernadine Healy writes that parents need to take responsibility for shaping their child's taste preferences at an early age. "Children come with natural biological preferences for sweet and fat; advertising does not make that happen. But parents can educate their children's palates with repeated exposure to different food types over time," Healy says.