Who We Are

A dynamic and rich history

From day one, Danone’s primary mission and business goal have always been to deliver health through food to as many people as possible.


Danone’s story began in Barcelona in 1919, when a father sought to protect and enhance his son’s health through yoghurt.

Our specialized nutrition story begins in the Netherlands in 1896, when two brothers founded Nutricia and began developing infant formulas during a time of high infant mortality. Soon after, Nutricia created its first nutritional products for diabetic patients and people suffering from goitre .

From the very first origins of Danone, the company has innovated to bring the world healthy food fueled by over a century of ground-breaking nutrition, hydration and fermentation research.

Today, united in innovative efforts under the Danone Research & Innovation name, we continue to work to develop specialized nutritional solutions and everyday nutritional support from our globally recognized research and development centers in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and Paris-Saclay, France, as well as various satellite locations around the world.

“Our organisation is dynamic and has a rich history. Our story is one of unceasing innovation to bring the world healthy food.”

Danone Research & Innovation Heritage:

The history of Danone Research & Innovation is one of collaboration, combining multidisciplinary knowledge to create revolutionary nutritional solutions.

1896: The Van der Hagen brothers produce the first human milk formula based on research by Prof. Dr. Backhaus in Germany, founding Nutricia.

1905: Nutricia launches the first medical nutrition product: a low lactose milk for diabetes patients, pioneering the concept of medical nutrition.

1919: In Barcelona, the first Danone Yoghurt is created by Isaac Carasso. It is sold in pharmacies and recommended for intestinal disorders in children. In 1929, Danone yoghurt is introduced in France.

1923: The first nutritional guidelines for infants and patients are created, laying the groundwork for the adoption of specialized nutritional solutions.

1942: Danone expands to the US. By 1970, it becomes France’s leading beverage and baby food producer, acquiring Evian, Kronenbourg, Bledina and others.

1946: The first Nutricia Research Center for Baby and Medical Nutrition opens in Zoetermeer.

1983: Danone Research Center Daniel Carasso is founded near Paris, dedicated to the Fresh Dairy Products Division.

1997: Nutricia expands its research capacity, opening Nutricia research centre in Wageningen.

2002: Daniel Carasso International Research Center in Palaiseau opens. It specializes in microbiology, gut physiology, nutritional data, fermentation/technology, and user experience.

2007: Nutricia becomes part of Danone, strengthening Danone’s global mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible.

2011: New satellite research center opens in Biopolis, Singapore. The first R&I center in Asia focuses on digital innovation.

2013: Danone Research & Innovation moves to an innovation center on Utrecht Science Park, in Utrecht, the Netherlands for specialized nutrition research.

2020: Danone opens a new Open Science Research Center for Life Transforming Nutrition, based in Shanghai to carry out scientific research and development work in specialized nutrition.

2023: Danone opens a new Global research Center in Paris-Saclay, France. The center will act as a powerful innovation catalyst for all essential dairy, plant based and water brands around the world.