TURKEY- Danone, a leading global food and beverage company has invested US$15.8 million in expanding its production facility in Lüleburgaz, Turkey, to enhance its production capacity for medical nutrition products.

The strategic move aimed to reinforce Danone’s commitment to meeting the nutritional needs of individuals with special medical requirements.

The additional production line at the Lüleburgaz facility will focus on manufacturing the Fortinel and Fortini brands of nutrition products.

The brands are part of Danone’s Netherlands-based Nutricia arm and are known for producing nutrition powders and children’s nutrition drinks, specifically designed for individuals suffering from malnutrition or those with special medical conditions.

According to the company’s spokesperson Fortinel and Fortini are “oral nutritional supplements for patients of all ages who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition due to conditions or diseases like frailty, cerebral palsy, cancer, or stroke.

“These specialized medical nutrition products are prescribed by healthcare professionals and used under medical supervision, with hospitals, pharmacies, and healthcare organizations being the primary customers,” he said.

“Notably, this production facility stands out as the first hybrid factory in Danone’s global manufacturing network, producing both medical nutrition and fresh dairy products under one roof.”

The Lüleburgaz facility, operational since 2004, is one of six factories that Danone operates in Turkey. In addition to medical nutrition products, this factory produces various dairy products such as yoghurt, milk desserts, and dairy snacks to cater to the local market.

Danone’s investment in Turkey followed a similar strategic move in Poland, where the company invested US$5.2 million to expand its Opole plant in the southwest of the country.

While the Opole facility already manufactured infant formula and baby food, this new investment has enabled the production of enteral nutrition products, designed for patients who rely on feeding tubes due to difficulties with swallowing or drinking.

Danone’s medical nutrition business is an integral part of its “specialized nutrition” division, which includes products catering to infants, such as baby food and formula.

Medical nutrition products contribute significantly to this division, accounting for approximately 40% of its sales. Overall, the specialized nutrition division represents 30% of Danone’s total revenues. In 2022, the division experienced impressive growth, with revenues increasing by 10% on a like-for-like basis.

In the first half of 2023, Danone’s specialized nutrition sales reached US$4.4 billion, marking a 5.5% year-on-year increase, or an 8.3% growth on a like-for-like basis.

This robust performance is attributed to the division’s increased volume and mix, demonstrating Danone’s dedication to meeting the evolving dietary needs of consumers with specialized nutritional requirements.