Danone has announced that it has agreed to buy US-based company Earth Island who produce the pioneering plant-based brand, Follow Your Heart.
Danone North America now owns 100% of the shares of Earth Island, which it says represents a strong cultural fit with Danone and provides them with a “unique opportunity to strengthen its plant-based business”.
California-based manufacturing company Earth Island is the production facility behind the iconic vegan brand Follow Your Heart and was founded in 1988 to meet the growing demand for its egg-free Vegenaise mayonnaise at the Follow Your Heart Market & Café.
The pioneering brand is now one of the leading producers of dairy-free cheese in the US and offers a range of plant-based products including vegan cheese and Vegenaise.
Making plant-based food widely available
Dairy giant Danone has been working strategically to expand its plant-based food and drink portfolio since 2017 and now owns a number of leading plant-based brands including Alpro, So Delicious Dairy Free and Silk.
While many may question why Earth Island would sell its shares to a company that has traditionally produced dairy products, the move is all part of Danone and Earth Island’s mission to make plant-based foods more widely available.
Announcing the news in a statement, Follow Your Heart’s CEO Bob Goldberg said: “To preserve and maintain our mission to produce the best plant-based food products and to make them available to as many people as possible, Earth Island looked for a partner that is both capable and well-positioned to help us accelerate and expand this effort.
“I am pleased to report that we have found one such company with whom we feel both a shared vision and shared values and one which we believe will, perhaps more than any other organization in the world, help us rapidly advance and expand our mission.”
‘Bring positive change in the world’
“Our mission has always been to produce the best plant-based food products and to make them available to as many people as possible,” Goldberg added.
“We’re very pleased to be joining the Danone family of plant-based companies in a collective effort to bring positive change in the world through the creation of sustainably and responsibly-made foods.”
Accelerating the plant-based boom in North America
Shane Grant, EVP and CEO, Danone North America commented: “Consumers are increasingly eating flexitarian diets, and we look forward to working with the Follow Your Heart team to offer our consumers even more choices.
“This partnership will build on our success in plant-based beverages, yogurt alternatives and creamers, further accelerating the growth of our North American plant-based business.”
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