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Yogurt Proves To Be A Good Category For Innovation, Led By Yoplait And Dannon

December 4, 2010: 09:28 AM EST

Yogurt is proving to be a product well-placed for innovation, and the Yoplait brand is a good example, introducing this summer a dessert yogurt, Splitz, a variant of the successful Yoplait Delights, but for kids. The brand is jointly-owned by a French cooperative and a French private equity firm, PAI Partners. General Mills holds the US license, and there is speculation that it might be interested in buying PAI’s 50% stake. Yoplait represented 15% of its total US revenues in the latest financial year. Yoplait, and yogurt generally, has been boosted by a “halo of health” – it’s not only tasty, but good for you too. Datamomitor says that 2009 yogurt sales grew 9.2%, excluding liquid yogurt, well ahead of other General Mills staple categories, such as ready-to-eat cereal and canned soup. Consumption rates in the US are still relatively low, so there remains plenty of potential. Dannon is probably even more innovative than Yoplait: about a fifth of all new US yogurt products introduced in the last two years have been Dannon’s, twice Yoplait’s contribution, and products from smaller, premium, brands, and especially Greek yogurt, have also eaten in to Yoplait’s market share. Dannon stole a march with its 2006 launch of Activia yogurt in the digestive health space, which now has 6% of the US yogurt market. Yoplait’s Yo-Plus has been far less successful. 

MIKE HUGHLETT, "Yoplait brings new thinking to dairy aisle", Star Tribune , December 04, 2010, © Star Tribune
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