Danone invests €70m in medical nutrition

Posted on 23 May 2024 by The Manufacturer

Danone has announced a €70m investment into its first production line in France focused on medical nutrition.

The majority of the investment – €60m – will be used to produce nearly 30 recipes of Danone’s oral nutritional supplement for patients, under its specialised nutrition range of Nutricia.

The site, located in Steenvoorde, will deliver almost 20 million liters of medical nutrition per year, helping drive better outcomes and quality of life for patients who suffer from disease related malnutrition, such as in cancer.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Danone, commented:  “Nutritional needs change as people grow, age and face health challenges, and at Danone, we believe that we have a responsibility to help generations live as healthily as possible. We are continually innovating, investing and utilising our 125 years of expertise to develop products that are adapted to the growing nutritional needs of millions of patients around the world. This investment is also in line with our Renew Danone strategy and shows our commitment to accelerating our adult medical nutrition product offering to meet healthcare demands and serve more patients.”

Disease related malnutrition, as a result of conditions such as cancer and stroke, or due to aging, affects one in four patients admitted to hospital, but only one in three who need medical nutrition receive it – despite the role it could play in improving outcomes for these patients. As the rate of chronic diseases and aging is on the rise, the need for medical nutrition products is expected to increase.

In response to these needs, and to serve as many patients as possible, Danone is continuing to invest in its medical nutrition product ranges and further expand its manufacturing production capabilities.

In addition to Steenvoorde, other recent investments include:

  • In 2023, the strengthening of its industrial capacities in medical nutrition through new production lines for Danone’s site in Lüleburgaz in Turkey and for the Opole site in Poland.
  • In May 2024, the acquisition of Functional Formularies in the United States, boosted Danone’s medical nutrition portfolio and expanded its food-based tube feeding ranges.

In addition to the production line, Danone will also be investing €10m in new infrastructure at the Steenvoorde site, including a biomass boiler. This boiler will reduce the carbon footprint of the site by almost 70%, in line with Danone Impact Journey commitments and enabled by its Re-Fuel energy excellence program.

The Steenvoorde site has produced Danone products for the last 110 years. It currently focuses on producing Danone’s specialised nutrition ranges for early life, including Gallia and Blédina brands. To prepare for the new production line on medical nutrition, the 430 Steenvoorde employees will take part in reskilling and upskilling programmes.

Danone continues to undertake significant research and innovation projects in the space of medical nutrition, building on its 125 years of experience in the field. The company, among the first to pioneer medical nutrition, invests in research of the specific nutritional needs associated with health conditions and diseases and develops evidence-based products that meet these patient needs. A recent example includes the launch of Danone’s first product in adult Foods For Special Medical Purposes category in China, designed to meet the nutritional needs of Chinese patients recovering after surgery or diseases like cancer and stroke.

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