The Villecomtal-sur-Arros site is switching to be entirely dedicated to the production of plant-based UHT products, mainly oats for the Alpro brand. This will be a €43m ($48.7m) injection for the installation of new lines to supply the French and European markets, with products due to be rolled out in the second quarter of 2023.
In 2021, the company invested €16.5m ($18.7m) in its existing Alpro site in Issenheim.
Danone noted the plant food market has tripled in the past seven years, and is expected to grow by a further 50% by 2025 in France. The new project means the company can increase its production capacity of UHT plant-based drinks by more than 25% by 2024 in France.
François Eyraud, managing director of Danone Fresh Products France said the project would allow Villecomtal-sur-Arros to support a growing market by becoming a benchmark site in Europe for the production of mainly oat-based drinks, while reducing its carbon footprint by 70%.
The dairies at Bailleul, Pays de Bray, and Saint-Just-Chaleyssin, will see a combined €24m ($27.2m) investment, to adapt their production capacity for fresh dairy products mainly for the Danone brands, Activia, Danette and Light & Free.