Daniel Carasso

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Daniel Carasso (December 16, 1905[1] – May 17, 2009),[2] a member of the prominent Sephardic Jewish Carasso family and the son of Isaac Carasso, founded the United States Dannon company and built up the Groupe Danone into a multinational business.

Biography[edit]

Daniel Carasso, son of Isaac Carasso, was born in Salonica, Ottoman Empire (modern Thessaloniki, Greece), where his family had lived for four hundred years following Spain's expulsion of its Jews. In 1916, after the Balkan Wars, the family moved to Barcelona.[2] In 1919, Carasso's father began marketing a yogurt that he named after Daniel, whose nickname in Catalan was Danon.

In 1923, Carasso enrolled in business school in Marseilles, France and studied bacteriology at the Pasteur Institute.[2] He took over the family business and in 1939, opened a branch in France.

Forced to flee the Nazis in 1941, he settled in the United States. Carasso returned to France in 1951.[2]He died at his home in Paris at the age of 103.[2]

Dannon Yogurt[edit]

In 1942, he formed a partnership with two family friends, Joe Metzger, a Swiss-born Spanish businessman, and his son Juan. They bought a small Greek yogurt company, Oxy-Gala, and founded Dannon Milk Products in Bronx, New York.[2] In 1947, Dannon added jam to its yogurt as a concession to American tastes and succeeded in growing sales to a broad market. He expanded the business into cheeses and other foodstuffs, and bought the American company from Beatrice Foods in 1981, changing the name to Groupe Danone.[3]

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