Progressive Grocer

AUG 2015

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74 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | August 2015 Yogurt Frozen & Refrigerated the boundaries of Greek yogurt as we continue making products that give our fans better options throughout the day, and we've been especially blown away by the love for our Flip products." Healthy Spoonfuls Beyond jazzing it up with extra ingredients, manu- facturers are fnding other ways to innovate with Greek yogurt. As Bashas' Grace points out, the item's healthy halo is a defnite draw. "American shoppers are keenly interested in protein and fnding new ways to incorporate it into their diet, and Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein," asserts Michael Neuwirth, senior direc- tor of public relations at Te Dannon Co., in White Plains, N.Y. "Greek yogurt is also a very diferent eating experience than traditional yogurt, because Greek yogurt is so much more creamy and thick. Additionally, Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for less healthful ingredients, whether that be a des- sert, a dip or a marinade." "Te widespread health benefts, specifcally in re- gards to protein, were a big driver of the trend toward Greek yogurt," concurs Koel Tomae, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt, a Bellvue, Colo.-based maker of Australian-style yogurt. To that end, Dannon has focused on the nutri- tive value of its Greek lines. "New product ofer- ings, such as Dannon Oikos Triple Zero, as well as existing products, such as … Light & Fit Greek, have performed very well because they address needs that really aren't met by any other yogurt maker," explains Neuwirth. Triple Zero "packs in 15 grams of protein with zero added sugar, zero artifcial sweeteners and zero fat," according to the company, while Light & Fit Greek, containing just 80 calories per 5.3-ounce serv- ing, but twice the protein of regular nonfat yogurt, recently ran a Great Greek Flavor Search contest, in which the winner, submitted by a Boston-area preschool teacher, was Tiramisu. Stirring Up Sales Asked about marketing and merchandising, Neuwirth replies: "Yogurt promotion in store performs best in incre- mental sales lifts when feature and display are combined. Tematic promotion also is quite efective." For instance, Dannon ran in-store Triple Zero demos through its Snack Like a Pro promotion, which included Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as celebrity spokesman; the line also scored an endorsement as the Ofcial "This year, we've really pushed the boundaries of Greek yogurt as we continue making products that give our fans better options throughout the day." —Peter McGuinness, Chobani Yogurt of the NFL. "We have found that when new yogurt products are introduced, the best method to excite customers is to sample the products," agrees Grace, adding that they should be "displayed with a hot introductory price." He continues: "We believe that promoting yogurt products with ads and temporary price reductions is the best way to get the attention of our customers. Most of the yogurt products are displayed in the dairy cases, but when space is avail- able, we use ends and spot displays." Noted Chobani's McGuinness at the start of 2015: "Our marketing in the coming year will focus especially on driving trial and raising awareness, including national campaigns, event marketing and sampling programs that introduce even more people to our products and the category." Whither Yogurt? Te next big thing in the yogurt category is still an open question. Grace thinks oferings like Chobani Indulgent or Müller Yogurt's brand-new line of Dessert Inspired varieties will grow in popularity. "Te strategy is to have yogurt as an all-around product, not just something for breakfast," he says of an item that's currently being touted as an anytime snack. Neuwirth believes "it's possible that savory may be a trend … to watch"; Pocantico Hills, N.Y.-based Blue Hill has already begun catering to this taste preference with its Beet, Butternut Squash, Tomato and Carrot yogurts. Te category's next geographical hot spot could well be Down Under. "Greek yogurt spurred a change in the category toward a richer and creamier yogurt, opening up an opportunity for Noosa to be the perfect intersection between Greek and traditional varieties," Tomae says of her company's full-fat dairy products, grow- ing consumer demand for which "has resulted in great product performance for" the company, she adds. Noosa has introduced two new favors — Vanilla and Cranberry Apple — and is relaunch- ing its Pumpkin variety nationally in 8-ounce and 4-ounce 4-packs. "Each new product stems from a diferent food trend or favor inspiration," explains Tomae. "For example, while the relaunch of Pumpkin results directly from the product's success when it was ... in Target stores last year, the Cranberry Apple launch was because we wanted to make another classic fall favor that paired perfectly with our yogurt." PG For more on the yogurt category, visit

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