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Customer Snapshot

Health through Nutrition Meets Cloud Technology

Improving products
to attract

7 Billion



Fueled by a desire to create delicious and nutritious food, Danone wants to remove barriers that separate them from their customers. With SAP HANA Cloud platform technologies, they can scalably create web and mobile apps that link customers directly to the company’s back-end systems, giving Danone the ability to react to billions of customers worldwide in real-time.




Paris, France

Customer Website



€20.9 billion

Number of Employees


Line of Business

Marketing, Sustainability, Information Technology


Consumer Products

Featured Products

SAP HANA Cloud Platform


Yogurt as a prescription medicine

Improving health has been a Danone goal since the company’s origins. It started in 1919 as a family company making yogurt—sold by a physician’s prescription—to help children with intestinal disorders. Today, Danone has grown to one of the world’s largest food, beverage, and nutraceutical manufacturers, with a strategic focus on using nutrition to promote the health and well-being of their customers.


  • 1919Appalled by the number of children suffering from intestinal problems after World War I, Isaac Carasso founds Danone in Barcelona, Spain. The yogurt company is named after his son, Daniel, whose nickname, Danon, means “Little Daniel” in Catalan.
  • 1923Daniel Carasso attended business college in France and studies bacteriology at the Pasteur Institute, which supplied ferments to his father’s business.
  • 1929Daniel Carasso launched Danone in Paris.
  • 1942One year after fleeing Germany’s invasion of France during World War II, Daniel Carasso founded Dannon in the United States.
  • 1958Danone sold Dannon to Beatrice Foods.
  • 1967Danone merged with cheese maker Gervais to become France’s leading producer of dairy products, Gervais Danone.
  • 1972Glass manufacturer Boussois-Souchon-Neuvesel (BSN), at the direction of CEO Antoine Riboud, purchased Evian mineral water and Kronenbourg beer (to fill its bottles), as part of a strategy to enter the food business.
  • 1973BSN merged with Danone to become BSN Gervais Danone.
  • 1981Company re-acquired Dannon, which had become the largest American yogurt producer.
  • 1986Acquired Genérale Biscuit S.A., the top producer of biscuits and toasted bread in continental Europe.
  • 1989Purchased the European operations of RJR Nabisco.
  • 1992Became world’s largest producer of mineral water by acquiring Volvic.
  • 1994Company changed name to Danone.
  • 2007Acquired Dutch nutraceutical company Royal Numico, gaining a stronghold in the infant and clinical nutrition markets.
  • 2012Sales exceeded €20 billion for the first time.

Success Strategy

Strong brands in the right places

Danone has pursued a strategy of creating strong brands and clearly defined geographical choices. For example, Evian bottled water is available in 120 countries. Danone also produces Aqua, the leading bottled water in Indonesia, and expanded Mexico’s Bonafont brand water to Brazil and Poland.


Danone heavily promotes the universal health benefits of their products, as well as healthy enjoyment, which is the combination of great taste and nutritional value.

The Challenge

Getting closer to the customer

Danone is trying to develop closer ties with customers in a number of ways, including new and targeted product benefits, differentiation through packaging, better ingredients and responsible sourcing, and creating new consumer experiences.


For example, Danone wants to reach consumers on their mobile devices. The company seeks to initiate personalized two-way communications and then capture interaction data on their back-end systems. But the company doesn’t have an information technology budget that could support the up-front costs for developing a proprietary system with that level of sophistication.

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Learning what we need first

Enter SAP

SAP already a sustainable option

As a long-time customer of SAP, Danone uses numerous solutions to improve business. For instance, the company uses the SAP ERP application to measure the carbon emissions related to 35,000 products. In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, the data and analysis helps Danone improve their decision making within the framework of environmental sustainability, which is a core company value.

Flexible for our needs

By choosing SAP HANA Cloud platform technology, Danone gains the ability to start small and pay incrementally for growth, while still having access to a reliable, scalable, highly secure infrastructure. The SAP HANA Cloud platform lets Danone easily and rapidly build user-friendly applications without having to make large, up-front investments in technology and resources.


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SAP HANA offered exactly what we needed

Better Business

Seamless integration, flexibility, and scalability

With SAP supplying the infrastructure, platform and applications, Danone benefits from standards-based development and seamless integration with both SAP and other systems. They also benefit from flexibility and scalability.


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Our strategy for the future

Because the solutions leverage SAP HANA, Danone can make business decisions based on real-time data.


Tangible results in faraway places

Early successes using the SAP HANA Cloud platform include a lightweight call center in South Africa and a web shop for selling nutraceuticals in Germany. In South Africa, Danone can manage the entire order-to-cash cycle from one web application. The German web store includes a product catalog, fully integrated with SAP, that includes material master data, product images, nutrition values, and pricing. The online store also supports credit card payments.

Run Simple

Short curve, fast progress

The application development cycle has gone much faster than originally planned. Although Danone developers were not initially familiar with the SAP UI5 platform for developing rich user interfaces for modern web business applications, the learning curve was very fast, and the company’s first solution was implemented in about 60 days.


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Fast and easy implementation

Danone is now working to identify other opportunities for connecting consumers with their backend systems for commerce, market research, and customer care.

Journey Ahead

Exploring potential new markets

As Danone expands the use of the SAP HANA Cloud platform, the company plans to combine data from their own applications with resources such as Facebook and Twitter and analyze them all in the SAP HANA database, looking for insight and actionable data that can help Danone quickly explore potential new markets and opportunities.


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Keeping up the pace with our consumers

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