Forget Snapchat, Uber, and Airbnb. The real money is in… almond milk? France’s Danone just purchased organic food producer WhiteWave Foods—the fastest-growing U.S. food company, thanks to its best-selling Silk almond milk—for a whopping $10.4 billion.
While WhiteWave is also known for its Earthbound Farm organic salad and its Horizon organic milk, the company’s real moneymaker is almond milk, the dairy alternative whose sales topped $700 million in 2015. The purchase will help Danone expand its reach in the competitive organic food market. Known primarily for selling Evian water and Activia yogurt, the acquisition also gives Danone a major leg up in the plant-based dairy substitute space.
“This is really about resilience, overall, and therefore the long-term adaptation of models of agriculture and eating and drinking practices,” Emmanuel Faber, chief executive of Danone, told The New York Times. “Consumers want diverse eating and drinking options, but we cannot meet that demand unless we diversify the way we produce food.”
The move may raise eyebrows in some circles, due to the high cost of producing almond milk and its negative effect on the environment. Still, this is a huge for coup for Danone and almond milk lovers everywhere.
Enjoy your glass of milk in this Williams-Sonoma Edward Highball Glass, and let us know if you’re concerned about almond milk's effect on the environment.