Jun 27, 2016 • By

Got goat milk? Yoplait France does

To capitalize on the popularity of products made with alternative dairy sources, Yoplait France will launch seven varieties of yogurt made with goat and sheep milk. It marks the first time the brand has had such yogurts.

“Yoplait C’est bon de varier” is set to arrive on French store shelves this month, says Marc-Antoine Olive, marketing manager of General Mills France.Yoplait-France-Sheep-Milk-Yogurt

“Yoplait is bringing diversity to the yogurt shelf via format and taste,” says Olive. “We saw an opportunity, as yogurt made with goat and sheep milk is both good for health and makes consumers discover new tastes. It also has been driving growth in the fresh dairy product market. Consumers are more and more interested in these products.”

Diversity is even in the new product’s name. “C’est bon de varier” in English translates to “variety is good.”

Fast-growing segment within dairy
Consumer-driven market trends influenced Yoplait to pursue the new yogurt, which has been in development since last November.

In France, the alternative dairy segment accounts for about 8 percent of the fresh dairy products sold, according to market research firm Information Resources Inc. This segment includes products made with organic and soy ingredients, and goat and sheep milk.

While alternative dairy only has a small portion of the market, it’s considered the fastest growing one. And within this category, products made with sheep and goat milk have been the biggest movers based in market penetration and frequency of use, according to Kantar.

Yoplait could not ignore this growth, Olive says. He credited the brand’s teams in developing the product quickly as it learned from smaller yogurt players in this segment.

‘Matter of personal taste’
Some French consumers gravitate to dairy products made with sheep and goat milk for taste or the chance to diversify their diet.

Regardless, products made with goat milk or sheep milk are an acquired taste. Yogurt made with goat milk has a “strong taste” and is reminiscent of cheese. Sheep milk yogurt has a sweeter, milder taste.Yoplait-France-Goat-Milk-Yogurt-Cherry

“The composition of milk from cow, goat or sheep is very close,” says Olive. “They have similar nutritional qualities, too, particularly between goat and cow milk. Sheep’s milk, though, is richer in protein and calcium. But the real difference lies in the taste of goat or sheep milk.”

Yoplait C’est bon de varier will use sheep milk in four varieties – plain, blueberry, cherry and fig. Goat milk will be used in three flavors – plain, blueberry and cherry.

Many consumers who have tried the yogurts have enjoyed it, Olive adds.

Yoplait is not the first yogurt maker in the General Mills family to introduce a product made from goat milk. Liberté in Canada offers two varieties of yogurt made with goat milk.

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