Localizing Products while leveraging global expertise: Lessons from Danone Waters China

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This week on China Corner Office, Chris Marquis talks to Eduardo Lacerda, vice president of marketing for Danone Waters China (DWC), the Guangzhou-based subsidiary of Paris-based food and nutrition multinational Danone S.A. Lacerda discusses in detail how DWC addresses the core tension for MNCs that want to do business in China: how to draw on global experience and frameworks while also effectively localizing the business and products. A case in point is the company’s well-known health drink Mizone, which was developed in China and has many seasonal and regional flavors tailored to appeal to Chinese consumers, particularly younger ones. But as Lacerda discusses, its low sugar profile and nutritional properties reflect Danone’s mission to deliver healthful products to consumers. Relatedly, we also discuss the company’s impressive environmental work at its factories and recent certification as a B Corp, and how it met the demands of this global framework for social and environmental impact.