Growing our yogurt business globally
From Montreal to Minneapolis to Marseille, General Mills is responding to the interest and market demand for delicious yogurt with the launch of dozens of new products this summer.
Yogurt has been one of the hottest food categories of the past decade, with plenty of room to expand as demand continues to grow in both developed and emerging markets.
The growth of the yogurt category in the U.S. over the past few decades has been impressive. According to Nielsen, the U.S. yogurt category was $1.5 billion in 1995 and has grown to more than $6.5 billion. Just 66 percent of U.S. households were buying yogurt in 1995, while 80 percent do so today.
Here’s another stat that illustrates the popularity of the category: Over the past year, more than 6,000 U.S. retail stores have expanded their yogurt sections. The stores that have expanded have experienced category growth at twice the rate of those that did not expand their yogurt sections.
While many people are familiar with General Mills’ yogurt business in the U.S., where we’ve marketed Yoplait yogurt since 1977, we also have a strong presence in markets such as France, the UK and Canada. Here are some of the new products launching in these four markets this fiscal year.
After the solid performance last fiscal year of Yoplait Greek 100, Yoplait USA has another strong lineup of innovation flowing into stores this summer, with increased marketing support planned as well. Several of the new products launching include:
New Yoplait Greek is a deliciously blended cup of strained Greek yogurt and fruit available in six unique flavors ─ Blueberry, Strawberry-Raspberry, Tangerine, Coconut, Pineapple and Vanilla. “After talking with thousands of people, what we consistently heard was that while people enjoy the thickness and protein from other Greek yogurts, they were still searching for a great taste experience,” said Liza Dopp, Yoplait Greek marketing manager. To satisfy consumer demand for a great-tasting Greek yogurt, Yoplait co-developed this new offering with consumers every step of the way.
Yoplait is building on the tremendous success of Yoplait Greek 100 – on pace to exceed $140 million in first year retail sales in the U.S. – with the launch of Yoplait Greek 100 Multipacks in two flavors – Vanilla and Strawberry Banana. While Strawberry Banana has been a popular flavor in Yoplait’s Original and Light lines for years, it’s the first time the flavor will be offered in our Greek varieties. Yoplait Greek 100 is the only Greek yogurt in the U.S. endorsed by Weight Watchers.
Yoplait’s Go-Gurt, the number one kids’ yogurt brand in the U.S., is launching Go-Gurt Protein, which has 5 grams of protein per serving with no artificial colors or flavors and no high fructose corn syrup. Go-Gurt Protein is launching regionally and will be available in two different variety packs – one with Strawberry Superstar & Mighty Fruit Punch flavors and the other with Berry Extreme & Burstin’ Berry Lemonade flavors.
Yoplait will also add flavor variety to its Original, Whips! and Thick & Creamy lines this year.
Yoplait around the Globe
In Europe, yogurt is now General Mills’ largest category.
The UK and France are the largest yogurt markets in Europe. Perhaps not surprisingly, yogurt consumption per capita in France is three times greater than in the U.S.*
In the UK, we recently launched Liberté Greek yogurt and we’re rolling out new flavors of our Weight Watchers yogurt, too.
The yogurt category grew 10 percent in Canada last fiscal year. This summer, Yoplait will launch Yoplait Yopa! Greek yogurt in unique flavors such as Strawberry Cheesecake. We’ll also be adding a Weight Watchers endorsement to our Yoplait Source yogurt, and will introduce new flavors of Yoplait Tubes and Yop beverages for kids.
The merger of two dairy cooperative brands – “Yola” and “Coplait” – gave birth to Yoplait in 1964. Today, Yoplait is the world’s second-largest yogurt brand and is available in 70 countries.
With General Mills’ 2011 acquisition of a 51 percent controlling interest in Yoplait SAS, yogurt became one of General Mills five global platforms, joining the company’s existing global categories of ready-to-eat cereal, convenient meals, wholesome snack bars, and super-premium ice cream.
To learn about General Mills new product innovation plans across all of our categories, read “200 New Products Launching Worldwide,” or “General Mills to unveil global innovation lineup of 200 products launching this summer,” which were both posted on July 9, 2013.
Editor’s note: *Source is Euromonitor 2012