- In the last couple of weeks, two announcements from two French dairy corporations.
- Danone acquired Follow Your Heart, a US legacy brand. This comes after the acquisition of WhiteWave three years ago and its investment into Nature’s Fynd.
- BEL (known for the Laughing Cow and Babybel) invests in Big Idea Ventures, an accelerator and fund dedicated to alternative proteins. Following the deal, it will open an accelerator in Paris later this year. This deal follows BEL acquisition of plant-based cheese-maker Nature&Moi and investment in Yofix.
Why it matters – DigitalFoodLab’s opinion:
Both companies look like they share the same goal, betting on alternative (dairy) proteins. However, if we look a bit more deeply into the way they act, the strategies are quite different:
- Danone is acquiring US-based legacy brands, companies with an established customer base. As the US is already leading a huge wave of dairy disruption (14% of the US dairy market is already made of plant-based products). These bets have not yet produced the expected results and Danone is facing the ire of investors. The company is also betting heavily on long-term alternative proteins (with Nature’s Fynd notably).
- BEL, a smaller company dedicated to cheese, is interestingly betting on smaller ventures and its will contributes to stimulating its local ecosystem by investing in Big Idea Ventures and its future Paris-based accelerator.
We should keep an eye on these two strategies coming from two companies based in the same country and with a shared history.