Danone North America recently announced that it is the first company to partner with HowGood to use the latter’s food sustainability platform called Latis, which helps determine the source location, sustainability standard, and environmental impact of ingredients.
Latis tracks factors like an ingredient’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, soil health, animal welfare, labor risk, and working conditions. The Latis data engine contains 30,000 ingredients, chemicals, and materials, and Takoua Debeche, SVP of Research and Innovation at Danone told me by phone last week that the company will use Latis to determine the sustainability of ingredients found in Danone’s existing products, as well as future offerings.
Danone North America is the world’s largest certified B corporation, and implementing Latis will further expand its sustainability efforts. Trends show that consumers have a heightened desire for products that align with their own values around sustainability, and are reaching for products that are both sustainable and transparent. At the same time, other food businesses are responding with their own initiatives: Just Salad recently launched a “climatarian menu” to showcase menu items with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. Even quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s and Starbucks have pledged to increase sustainability efforts.
In addition to sourcing sustainable ingredients, Danone is also looking at uncovering more nutrition benefits of the ingredients it already uses. This summer, Danone also partnered with Brightseed to use its artificial intelligence (AI) platform to uncover phytonutrients of certain plants. Danone is currently using this technology to specifically analyze soy, but will soon also be analyzing the nutrition benefits of other plants as well.
After partnering with Latis and Brightseed, more plant-based products will be in Danone’s product roadmap according to Debeche. Danone will use these two technologies to improve the flavor, texture, and nutrition content of current and future plant-based products.