WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at the 2015 Building a Healthier Future Summit, The Dannon Company announced significant progress in three of the four goals of its commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) – including improvements in the nutrient profile of its products as well as more than $1 million invested in nutrition research and education during the first year (July 2013 - June 2014) of its three-year commitment.
"We are pleased with the progress we've made," said Dannon's President and CEO Mariano Lozano. "Our commitment to PHA has resonated deeply with our 1,400 employees and has energized nearly all to become ambassadors for nutrition. Having completed year one of our multi-year commitment, we continue to build momentum behind our mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, and we feel strongly that with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans under development now is the time for a recommendation that Americans eat one yogurt every day. Specific to our PHA commitment, we set ambitious goals and we still have a lot to accomplish in the remaining two years."
Dannon has achieved noteworthy progress in three of its four commitment areas, including nutrition research and education, sugar reduction and fat reduction. Highlighting the difficulty of the Dannon commitment, the company showed no progress during year one of its goal to improve overall nutrient density.
Invested more than $1 million in nutrition education and research
Dannon committed to invest $3 million in nutrition education and research focused on healthy eating habits by 2016. With more than $1 million invested during year one of the PHA commitment, Dannon has developed education programs for healthcare providers, such as WIC nutrition counselors and consumers on the benefits of lowfat and nonfat yogurt, and is well on its way to meeting the $3 million goal to support education about better eating habits.
"As a company that values education and research, we are investing in behavior change and educational programs that make a positive impact and align with our mission," said Philippe Caradec, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Dannon. "We partnered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others to support programs that provide health and nutrition education for health care professionals as well as directly to parents and their kids."
Exceeded some sugar reduction targets
As part of its commitment, Dannon must reduce the amount of total sugar in Dannon products to 23 grams or less per 6-ounce serving in 100 percent of products for children and 70 percent of the company's products overall by 2016. Dannon has already met and exceeded its commitment to reduce sugar in products overall, with 76 percent of its portfolio meeting those standards, and has made progress with 91 percent of children's products compliant at the end of year one. Most recently, Dannon introduced a Danimals Squeezables product for kids, which is lowfat and meets the reduced sugar standard of the PHA commitment.
Progress in fat reduction
Dannon committed to reduce the amount of fat in Dannon products, so that 75 percent of products will be nonfat or low fat, and 69 percent of products currently meet that standard. Dannon recently launched Oikos® Triple Zero Greek yogurt, which also complies with the commitment, containing zero added sugars, zero artificial sweeteners and zero fat.
Working towards nutrient density commitment
Dannon committed to a 10 percent improvement in nutrient density across its portfolio by increasing important nutrients, such as vitamin D, and decreasing total sugar and fat. While Dannon progressed on sugar and fat reduction, there was no progress to advance the total nutrient density score due to the changes in the mix of products Dannon sold during the first year of reporting. This is due to the evolution of the mix of products sold by Dannon to a greater number of products that did not have added vitamin D. Dannon is confident it will meet the nutrient density component of its commitment by 2016.
Dannon's commitment goals are based on the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which recommend that Americans consume more nutrient dense foods, like yogurt. Nutrient dense foods are those that provide more vitamins and minerals, like potassium and vitamin D, and less fat, sugar and salt. Most yogurts – already nutrient dense – provide three of the four nutrients of public health concern most lacking in American diets as identified by the 2010 DGA: calcium, potassium and Vitamin D.
"Dannon is extremely proud to stand alongside PHA as a partner, and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration to contribute to a healthier America," said Lozano. "We continue to explore education and research opportunities and to improve the nutrient profile of our products, and we encourage Americans to eat one yogurt every day to help improve their diet."
For the second consecutive year, Dannon is participating in PHA's Summit, and this year is sponsoring Thursday's "Yogurt Power Lunch" and exhibiting in the Expo Hall. The lunch will feature nutrient dense recipes, and showcase the many ways to cook with and enjoy yogurt every day. Recipes from the lunch, along with information about how yogurt can encourage healthy eating including the consumption of fruits and vegetables, will be available at the Dannon booth.
"Dannon has made a significant commitment to making healthier food choices easier for millions of busy parents and families," said PHA CEO Lawrence A. Soler. "Dannon's dedication to this effort is a testament to its leadership in our important work to address the childhood obesity crisis."
PHA is expected to release the yearly progress report for all commitment partners, assessed by an independent verifier, in May 2015.
Details about the 2014 Dannon commitment with PHA is available here.
About The Dannon Company
Headquartered in White Plains, New York, The Dannon Company has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, West Jordan, UT, and Portland, OR, which make more than 200 different flavors, styles and sizes of cultured refrigerated and frozen dairy products to serve its retail and foodservice customers. Dannon brings health through food to as many people as possible via its diverse offering of delicious and wholesome yogurts. Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. For more information, visit www.dannon.com.
About The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA)
The Partnership for a Healthier America is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation's youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation's most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.
SOURCE The Dannon Company