Shaken during the crisis at its Waters division (Volvic, Evian, Badoit, etc.) which accounts for 16% of its worldwide activity, Danone does not want to fall behind on one of its major responses to fight against “plastic bashing»: Accelerate the recyclability of its bottles.
This month, all of its Evian and Volvic bottles in small formats (40, 50 and 75 centilitres), in supermarkets as well as in cafes and restaurants, will now be made 100% from recycled plastic (rPET ). Long-term work to find suitable technical solutions, and above all an additional cost of 30% for this material which is very popular with bottlers.
Packaging, a subject that has become strategic
«By 2025, all formats and brands in our portfolio will be affected, and we will no longer use virgin plastic for our bottles.», Explains Antoine Portmann, CEO of Danone Eaux France, which also owns brands such as Badoit and Salvetat. With this first step which affects 40% of its turnover in France, Danone wants to show that it is accelerating on this now strategic subject of packaging, as the general public’s mistrust of single-use plastic has grown. magnitude for two years.
By 2025, we will no longer use virgin plastic for our bottled water
Antoine Portmann, DG France of Danone Eaux.
Faced with this tidal wave of “plastic bashing“, Some of its competitors such as Nestlé (Perrier, Vittel, Contrex …) have made drastic choices. By selling this year many brands (including Nestlé Pure Life) in Canada or China and soon in the United States. Danone, with its premium brands, is resolutely showing its choice to remain in a market that it still considers strategic. And this even if the overall turnover of bottled water still fell 1% in France over the first eight months of the year.
To fight against distrust of plastic, and beyond recycling, the group is working on multiple solutions (carboys, cans, glass, fountains, etc.) to better meet new consumer demands. But for many, they are still in the experimental stage. Beyond the efforts on its packaging, the group therefore also wants to make its customers want to pay for water that they can find at the tap. “Remember, we don’t sell plastic, we sell water »Thus recalled the financial director of Danone, Cécile Cabanis, a few months ago.
More valued mineral waters
« On this subject, it is important to give back value to what is in the bottle, adds Antoine Portmann. To repeat where Evian and Volvic come from, namely glaciers in the Alps and volcanoes in Auvergne. And that as natural mineral waters never touched by man, they are beneficial for health. Not all waters are created equal.The group is currently launching a new poster and television campaign on its two flagship brands.
With this repositioning, Danone also hopes to get ahead of its competitors. Forced to reduce its ranges during confinement to meet the strong demand in stores, it has ceded 1% of market share to its two major competitors Nestlé, and Cristalline.