Daniel & Nina Carasso – A Vision of Health

Place of Birth

Thessalonika, Greece

Industry

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Early Career

Daniel Carasso studied business and economics in Marseilles, France, before completing his undergraduate studies in bacteriology at the famed Pasteur Institute in Paris. In 1929, shortly after his graduation, Daniel developed a fermented lactic acid tablet which he tried to market across Europe. He looked to his father for inspiration and decided to use his skills to promote the family brand Danone in France.
Born into a prominent Jewish family in the Ottoman Empire, Carasso’s early years saw the family move to Lausanne, Switzerland and eventually to Barcelona, Spain. Daniel’s father, Isaac, became friends with Professor Elie Metchnikoff, winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize for Medicine. His work on the human immune system led to research on the effect of fermented lactic acid, especially in children. In Spain at the time, many children suffered from infectious diarrhea due to low quality food. Isaac was determined to help find a cure and advance the study of human immunology.

daniel and nina carasso

1919 saw the development of the very first yoghurt made from fermented milk, which was marketed as a medical product with the support of Barcelona’s medical fraternity, and was available at pharmacies in the city. The name of yoghurt brand was “Danone”, named after the family nickname for eldest son Daniel.

Business

In 1939, following the death of his father Isaac, Daniel married Nina Covo, the daughter of a colleague of Isaac’s. The couple, realizing the threat of the rising Nazi party, made the journey to the United States. It was while in Cuba, awaiting their visas, that Daniel bought an industrial plant in the US, naming it the ‘Danon Company’. Daniel and Nina lived in the US during WWII, leaving their European business in the hands of trusted colleagues.

Returning to Europe in 1947, the couple settled in France. Daniel continued to grow the company. He understood the value of having exceptionally high quality raw products, and in 1965 merged with another dairy company, Gervais. The newly formed business then merged with formidable packaging company BSN in 1972. These strategic mergers ensured the company’s success.
Though no longer involved in the daily running of the business, Daniel continued to innovate, keeping the health principles of his father at the forefront the entire time. He was to contribute to the strategy of the business and its high standards until his death in 2009.

Philanthropy and Sponsorship

The Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation is one of the world’s most exceptional philanthropic organizations. It is a foundation that not only honors the work and life of Daniel Carasso, but continues his legacy of sustainability, growth and commitment to the community. Founded in 2010, following the death of Daniel at the age of 103, the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation is run by Daniel and Nina’s daughter, Marina Nahmias. The organizations’s driving principles are:
• Food to sustain life
• Art to sustain the mind

The Foundation works primarily in France and Spain, but has funded projects and organizations on a global scale according to need. It has funded over 200 projects ranging from the Second Global Food Security Conference to Musée Mobile, a project from L’Art à l’enfance (Art for Children).