>> Danone is looking to tap into the US health food craze. The French dairy company known in the US for its brand name yogurt, Dannon, announcing plans Thursday to buy organic food producer WhiteWave for $12.5 billion, in what would be its largest deal in a decade. Danone is going all out for the company, churning out popular organic brands such as Silk non-dairy milk, Horizon organic milk, and Earthbound salads.
Like many food companies Danone is trying to buy its way into the heart of consumers worldwide who are turning to healthier food options. No longer is organic being regulated to specialty foodstores and higher priced supermarkets like Whole Foods. Here in the US, it's gone mainstream. General Mills launched an all-natural cereal brand last month.
Pepsi, gaining a boost in sales from its healthier snacks like Smartfood popcorn and Naked cold-pressed juices, as consumers shy away from sugary soft drinks and cakes. With the addition of WhiteWave, Danone will see its US business double. That's good, since it can no longer rely on sales from emerging markets like Russia and Brazil, which have gone from white-hot to ice-cold faster than the latest diet fad.