EUROPE: Danone and Chiquita to market fruit-based drinks

By | 31 March 2010

The JV will allow Danone to develop fruit-based products

The JV will allow Danone to develop fruit-based products

Danone is to join forces with US firm Chiquita Brands International to market fruit-based drinks for the European market.

The joint venture, announced today (31 March), will provide a platform for Danone to develop fruit-based products and extend its potential for growth in Europe. The products will be based on Chiquita’s Just Fruit in a Bottle drinks.

Under the terms of the joint-venture agreement, Danone will pay an undisclosed amount in cash to Chiquita for a 51% interest in - and management control over - the joint-venture. 

Chiquita will licence its trademark to the new entity, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2010.

Bernard Hours, co-COO of Danone, said: “We are excited to partner with Chiquita in providing consumers with healthy, fruit-based, fresh products. The combination of Danone’s leading European footprint of healthy products, together with Chiquita’s operational expertise in fruit-based drinks creates exciting long-term growth opportunities.”

Chiquita’s Just Fruit in a Bottle is currently distributed in 12 European countries, generating approximately EUR20m (US$26.8m) sales in 2009. 

The new joint-venture, which will be headquartered in Paris, will be the distributor of Chiquita Just Fruit in a Bottle and all future Chiquita branded beverage products in Europe.

Fernando Aguirre, chairman and CEO of Chiquita, added: “Chiquita’s partnership with Danone leverages both firms complementary strengths and will enable us to expand Just Fruit in a Bottle much faster and efficiently across Europe.”

Danone yesterday secured third place as the UK's top supplier of 2009 by volume in Britvic's 2010 Soft Drinks Report.

Sectors: Marketing – advertising & promotions, Mergers & acquisitions, Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Danone

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