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The History of Activia


With many different flavors to choose from, Activia® is a delicious way to reduce the frequency of minor digestive discomfort when consumed twice a day for two weeks as part of a balanced and healthy diet. 

The word probiotic means “for life.” Probiotics are “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” Source: FAO/WHO 2002 

Activia® contains an exclusive probiotic that has been shown to support digestive health.* 

There are several reasons why probiotic foods are the preferred choice for getting probiotic bacteria. Probiotic foods buffer stomach acids and increase the chance for probiotics to survive and make it to the intestine. Probiotic supplements in the form of pills do not usually provide the nutrients that the cultures produce during fermentation. Plus, fermented dairy products like yogurt are also a source of nutrients that are critical for good health, such as calcium, protein, and potassium. 

Here's an interesting look at the history of Activia:

(1) 1899: Henry Tissier, a French pediatrician, first identifies Bifidobacteria in the intestinal flora of breast-fed babies.  

(2) 1908: Élie Metchnikoff, a Nobel Prize winner studying at the Institute Pasteur, discovers the positive impact fermented dairy products have on our health. 

(3) 1919: After hearing about Élie Metchnikoff’s research, Isaac Carasso manufactures his first yogurt with ferments, selling it in pharmacies. He sets up a company called ‘Danone’, named for his son ‘little Daniel’. 

(4) 1929: At the age of 24 ‘little Daniel’ Carasso founds the Danone company in France – marking the real start of the Activia story.  

(5) 1980s: During the 1980s, their Danone Research scientists work on developing a yogurt containing Bifidobacteria. 

 (6) 1985: After conducting many experiments and in vitro screenings, the Danone Research team identifies a strain of Bifidobacteria that is able to thrive and grow in milk – our exclusive Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010/CNCM I-2494.  

(7) 1986: Activia team develops a breakthrough process and mix of bacteria that allows them to produce a fermented milk product in which their exclusive probiotic can survive and grow in high quantities. 

(8) 1987: In France, they launch Bio (the original name for Activia®) in green packaging – a design as unique as its contents. 

 (9) 2000: Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010/CNCM I-2494 is deposited in the French National Collection of Cultures and Microorganisms (CNCM) – a world renowned strain collection within the Pasteur Institute in Paris. 

(10) 2006: After almost 20 years on the market, Activia® becomes the worldwide brand name for their product.

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