Danone Waters China Taps Into Local Flavors

Over the last 40 years, China’s economy ranked among the fastest-growing in the world, as new trade policies and other reforms drove growth and expansion in the nation of 1.4 billion people. As China became a global leader in manufacturing and trade, it also lifted 800 million of its residents from poverty as its domestic economy also gained strength. 

That period of growth also attracted multinational brands, including Danone, a leading global food company focused on “bringing health through food to as many people as possible.” The company’s many divisions include Danone Waters China, which since its launch in 2003 has found a burgeoning market for its Mizone vitamin beverage among young, urban customers. Since its start in 2003, Danone Waters China has grown to have six plants in China and more than 5,000 employees.

The success of Mizone — a low-sugar, vitamin-infused beverage — is due in part to the China-born and -developed brand’s local knowledge and innovative product, said Eduardo Lacerda, Vice President of Marketing for Danone Waters China.

“Mizone entered this market with a very clear proposition. It was the brand brought to the market and to especially young consumers in urban areas,” he said. “If you look at our global portfolio, we’ve been promoting hydration through water with different local brands of natural mineral waters. Our reality in China is a bit different, because beyond the healthiest way of drinking, we know that many consumers are still looking for pleasure for taste.”

With a goal to have all its global operations become Certified B Corporations by 2025, Danone is a world leader in another way: operating while taking social and environmental impact into account. Despite the inherent complications with selling a single-use plastic bottled drink, Danone Waters China is working to not only be as sustainable as possible but also change the operating rules to become more sustainable over time. This year Danone Waters China became the largest B Corp of beverage industry in China, gaining certification thanks to the company’s focus on sustainability as well as its supply chain, customers and employees, Eduardo Lacerda said. (Source: forbes.com)