The firm’s U.S. yogurt sales fell -6% year-on-year during Q4 (three months to May 30, 2021), which marked the panic-buying phase of the pandemic, but increased 1% year-over-year, with basic Yoplait Original sales up 4% from two years ago, Hamacher told FoodNavigator-USA (according to SPINS data, the global yogurt category including beverages increased 2.2%, to $ 8.43 million, during the 52 weeks to July 11).
“Yoplait is really focused on taking the natural goodness of dairy products and turning them into a joyful experience that the whole family will love … we have added more fruit to each cup, we have increased our vitamin D and calcium and we have made sure that we have sizes that everyone would love. , and we’ve seen the business really start to change. “
“The business: keto ratio in particular has been very incremental in the category”
In terms of category dynamics, he said, the children’s segment is growing, presenting opportunities for GoGurt, especially when parents are looking for more options on the go as children return to school, “But the biggest growth lies in what we simply call better health, which are really low-sugar alternatives to traditional yogurt, so it’s about half a million dollars in the category and growing very strongly.
“So we launched the proportion of keto-compatible products a year ago [15g fat, 15g protein, 1g sugar], this was the biggest release in the category and it continues to work really well, and then we have the new one : high line ratio in proteins,Which was just released last spring [25g protein, 3g sugar]”.
She added:He : ratio keto business in particular, it has been very incremental in the category. Keto is a different diet, but it is also a code for “low carb”, which is a kind of broader diet that some consumers follow that [strict] ceto [staying in a state of ketosis requires considerable discipline]. If you look online, keto is in the top three [in] yogurt was sought on almost every platform.
“What we have learned is that, for this subset of consumers, they are looking for macros for which they can feel good, the right balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates that meet their dietary goals and they really like that: mathematics for them “.
As for sweeteners, the two lines of relationship keep sugar low by using ultra-filtered milk (with most lactose / milk sugar removed) and sucralose, which is an “artificial” sweetener, but it is not a breaker for buyers looking for a very low sugar positioning, he said (: the protein ratio also features erythritol).
Meanwhile, for consumers who reject products with everything you won’t find in Grandma’s kitchen, Yoplait’s Oui line marks the right boxes.The category is very bifurcated in terms of consumer preferences, so we know there is a group of consumers who are really looking for higher protein and low sugar options. There is also a group of consumers who buy Oui, which is top quality ingredients made in a glass pot without sugar alternatives.
YQ: “We are in the middle of leaving this business”
YQ: A line of yogurts with moderate sugar and rich in protein [15g protein, 9-11g sugar] released in 2018 – meanwhile, it retires: “We they are in the middle of leaving this business “, Said Hamacher.
“What we knew is that this ultra-filtered milk technology allowed us to reach a high protein and low sugar content, but we were able to take that, add avocado oil and launch the option: keto friendly ratio, which it has performed much better with a much clearer profit in the market and clearer communication to the consumer. “
Yogurt buying trends in the pandemic: ‘Consumers turned to brands they knew and trusted …
Typically, about 10% of dollar sales in the yogurt category come from innovation, Hamacher said: “It’s a high test category for new items, but over the last year and a half, that figure has only been 5%, although we anticipate that levels of innovation will return to historic levels.
“During the pandemic, consumers turned to brands they knew and trusted; they were more risk averse, made fewer trips to the grocery store, and made sure that if they bought something, it was what their whole family would like and enjoy. So for us, original Yoplait, GoGurt and our Oui business continued to grow in stakes, compete and accelerate.
“They also bought a lot of bigger packages and bought more online. More than 10% of [our] yogurts are sold online and as consumers continue to migrate to online shopping, having the right package sizes becomes incredibly important and we also make sure that every piece of our media can be bought, so if you are interested when I see something online, I will direct you to the retail place where you can buy it ”.
Is there a new vegetable yogurt ready?
As for vegetable yogurt: a $ 354 million retail category in the US in measured channels (excluding yogurt drinks) that grew + 14.6% in the 52 weeks to July 11 according to the SPINS data, with several offers from rivals Danone and Chobani – Yoplait has dairy-free products under its Oui and GoGurt brands, Hamacher said.
He did not provide any details when asked about a new Yoplait plant-based product that U.S. retail president Jon Nudi sparked during the fourth-quarter earnings call in late June, but said: “We continue to try to evaluate options that we believe will meet the needs of consumers and that there are enough different benefits.”
Incremental growth: new formats / opportunities, new benefits
So what will drive per capita yogurt consumption in the United States, which grew steadily until around 2013/14 and then went down a bit?
“About 50% of yogurts are consumed in the morning, 50% in the afternoon, and since we think about what has really changed the trajectory of this category, it’s been two things over time.” Hamacher said: “Incremental formats and incremental advantages.
“So with formats, in a brand like GoGurt, for example, we put yogurt in a tube and kids can carry it on the go, and we’ll continue to look at what are the convenient ways to eat yogurt, not just with a spoon but in other formats and other locations.
“And then I think the incremental benefits will continue to drive that category, with less sugar and more protein.”
To take advantage of the growing interest in pandemic-accelerated immune health, General Mills is also launching a new product (10g protein, 17g sugar) called Yoplait Power with chia seeds and open messages about immunity to the front of the package: “With vitamins D, A, C, E and zinc that can help your immune system.”