Activia is a brand of yogurt specifically formulated by the Dannon company, its manufacturer, to relieve constipation and improve gastrointestinal functions. The yogurt contains live cultures of beneficial microorganisms called probiotic bacteria that according to Dannon’s literature on the subject, help “to naturally regulate your slow intestinal transit."
The Dannon Company
Yogurt is produced from milk which is allowed to ferment under controlled conditions until it reaches the consistency of an egg custard. Yogurt was mostly unknown in the United States outside of a few health food stores and food fetishists when the Dannon Company first introduced it to America in the 1950s.
Traditionally, yogurt has been one of the staple foods of Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe. It was first popularized in Western Europe by Elie Metchnikof, a Nobel laureate and a director of the prestigious Pasteur Institute in Pairs, who wondered whether the unusually lengthy Bulgarian lifespan could be traced to the amount of yogurt Bulgarians consumed.
Equally impressed by Bulgarian longevity was a Spanish doctor named Isaac Carasso who obtained Bulgarian yogurt cultures from the Pasteur Institute and began commercial manufacture of the product in 1919. Initially yogurt was sold in pharmacies. The dairy product proved so successful that Carasso opened a French branch of the business in the early 1920s.
He named the company Danone – derived from the Catalan nickname for “Daniel,” the name of Isaac Carasso’s oldest son who became the head of French operations.
Opening US Stores
The Carasso family was Jewish. In 1942, Daniel Carasso moved the company to the United States where he purchased a Greek yogurt manufacturing concern in New York City with his partner Joe Metzger and began producing yogurt under the name “Dannon.” Americans did not like the sour taste of natural yogurt it seemed; but after Dannon began adding strawberry jam to the mix, the product began flying off the shelves.
Daniel Carasso returned to France in 1948 after World War II ended. By this time, the American operations and the European operations had been divvied up as Danone and Dannon respectively: Joe Metzger was the head of Dannon and Carasso the head of Danone. The US company continued to be 90 percent owned by the European company.
In 1981, the US market for yogurt brought in well over one billion dollars a year, of which Dannon accounted for one-third. Shortly thereafter, however, the company began losing market share as many other companies entered the profitable yogurt sweepstakes. In order to keep its revenues high, Dannon started introducing new specialty products like dessert-flavored yogurts with names like Bavarian cream or cheesecake yogurt.
In 2006, Dannon went back to its health food roots with the introduction of Activia and the Activia Challenge which claims that eating Activia for two weeks would lead to improved digestion.
Does Activia Live Up To Dannon’s Claims?
Activia yogurt contains probiotic bacteria, enzymes and fiber which Dannon claims will lead to healthier, more balanced digestive functions. The yogurt is available in both tubes and cups, and is also sold as a yogurt drink. But does it work?
In 2008, a class action suit was filed against the Dannon company claiming that Activia did not live up to the claims made for it in the company’s advertising. The following year, Dannon settled the lawsuit out of court by setting up a $35 million reimbursement fund for those customers who found that no health benefit resulted when they used Activia. However, Dannon continues to stand by the claims it makes for its Activia product.
Activia Coupons and Rebates
The Activia Website
Save one dollar on the Activia specialty product, Activia Dessert, Activia, Activia Light, Activia Drinks, Activia Fiber or a four-pack of 24 ounce Activia. No expiration date. Set your browser to Activia.Com
By signing up for the Activia Challenge, you will receive as coupon entitling you to $1.00 off any Dannon Activia product.
If you take the Activia Challenge which entails eating Activia yogurt at least once a day for two weeks, and you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can qualify for a rebate of up to $12. You must register with the Dannon website in order to become eligible and be able to document your Activia consumption.
Other Internet Coupons
The coupon website Living Rich With Coupons features four printable coupons offering $0.50 off Dannon Light and Fit four-packs, Dannon DanActive four-packs, Dannon Activia four-packs and half a dozen six ounce servings of Dannon Light and Fit respectively. Use the zip code 07039 and set your browser to: Coupons.com
Shop Rite: A four-pack of Dannon Activia costs $2.00 after factoring in savings from one $0.75 coupon and a $0.50 after coupon rebate. A six ounce serving of Dannon Light and Fit costs $0.66 after factoring in savings from one $0.50 coupon and a $0.49 after coupon rebate.
Pathmark and A&P: A four-pack of Dannon Activia costs $2.00 after factoring in savings from one $0.75 coupon and a $0.50 after coupon rebate. A four-pack of Dannon DanActive costs $2.00 after factoring in savings from one $0.55 coupon and a $0.90 after coupon rebate.
A&P: A four-pack of Dannon Light & Fit costs $2.00 after factoring in savings from one $0.50 coupon and a $1.00 after coupon rebate.
Stop & Shop: A six ounce serving of Dannon Light and Fit costs $0.66 after factoring in savings from one $0.50 coupon and a $0.33 after coupon rebate.
For more information on these offers, log on to Living Rich With Coupons