Danone plans to serve 'mishti doi' in Europe

Bengal's 'mishti doi' may soon compete with French creme brulee. A staple or joyous Bengali occasions, he sweet yogurt could find its way to European dinner tables as French dairy giant Danone is piloting a reverse innovation project to launch desi dairy products in some of ts international markets.

At present, the company's R&D department in France is studying the recipe of mango lassi, a flavoured yogurt-based drink. While assi could make it to retail shelves first, mishti doi could be one of the other yogurt-based contenders to fol ow soon, said people familiar with the matter.

"There is a big similarity between food habits of people in France and India.Along with the tendency of using fresh ingredients to prepare meals, people of both countries are heavy yogurt users," said Laurent Marcel, MD of Danone India. "The texture of lassi could be very attractive to European palates. Exotic food that can double as healthy alternatives is a big global trend now."
Other than taking desi flavours global, Danone also plans to bring in products from its global portfolio. The company will launch readyto-serve custards soon. "It's a global innovation. In India, people find it difficult to prepare," Marcel said. The company has also applied to the FSSAI, the country's apex food regulator, for product approval of several brands from its nutrition portfolio.
Danone started its dairy business here in 2010 and nutrition business in 2012 after the acquisition of the nutrition portfolio from Wockhardt Group. Since then, it has brought in its international range of flavoured yogurts and its UHT and fresh dairy innovations tailored for the Indian market such as mishti doi, 'chaas', lassi, 'dahi', flavoured yogurts and smoothies. Marcel, who recently took over as MD of the company , calls it `Indovation'. "For instance, Protinex, a protein supplement for all age groups, now comes in elaichi and vanilla that are popular Indian flavours," he said.

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