Daniel Carasso, who popularized yogurt worldwide via the Dannon brand, died on Sunday. He was 103. From the obituary in the NY Times:
In 1916 his father took the family back to Spain, where he [the father] became disturbed by the high incidence of intestinal disorders, especially among children. Isaac Carasso [Daniel’s father] began studying the work of Elie Metchnikoff, the Russian microbiologist who believed that human life could be extended by introducing lactic-acid bacilli, found in yogurt and sour milk, into the digestive system. Using cultures developed at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Isaac began producing Danone. . . in 1941 the arrival of the Nazis forced [Daniel Carasso] to flee to the United States. There he formed a partnership with two family friends, Joe Metzger, a Swiss-born Spanish businessman, and his son Juan, whose flair for marketing would make Dannon a household name in the United States. . .The little company operated at a loss until 1947, when, in a concession to the American sweet tooth, strawberry jam was added to the yogurt. Sales took off, new flavors were added to the product line, and Dannon yogurt made the leap from specialty product to snack food and dessert.
Thanks to Marian Lizzi.