About Activia

Activia’s History

Step back through time to learn the history of Activia, and how 30 years of research has created a truly unique product


Henry Tissier, a French paediatrician, first identifies Bifidobacteria in the intestinal flora of breast-fed babies.

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

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

At the age of 24 ‘little Daniel’ Carasso founds the Danone company in France – marking the real start of our story.

During the 1980s, our Danone Research scientists work on developing a yoghurt containing Bifidobacteria.

After conducting many experiments and in vitro screenings, the Danone Research team identifies a strain of Bifidobacteria that’s able to thrive and grow in milk – our exclusive  Bifidus ActiRegularis®.

We develop a breakthrough process and mix of bacteria that allows us to produce a fermented milk product in which Bifidus ActiRegularis® can survive and grow in high quantities.

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

Bifidus ActiRegularis®  is deposited in the French National Collection of Cultures and Microorganisms (CNCM) – a world renowned strain collection within the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The isolated strain is scientifically identified as Bifidobacterium  lactis CNCM I-2494.

After almost 20 years on the market, Activia® becomes the worldwide brand name for our product.

We’re the number one Global Fresh Dairy Brand in the world*, benefitting from more than 30 years of research expertise in ferments and yoghurt processes to create a truly unique product.

* excluding Private Labels. Source : Nielsen 2015