The company - the US subsidiary of French dairy giant Danone - began advertising its Oikos Greek yogurt range in Men’s Health magazine around two months ago. The advert depicts Dannon’s recognisable Oikos Greek yogurt tub as a piece of grilled chicken, a beef burger patty, and an egg.
The images feature alongside the slogan, “The New Protein.”
“We have positioned Oikos as an excellent source of protein, and in the context of other foods that are associated with protein, such as grilled chicken and eggs,” Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations at Dannon, told DairyReporter.com.
“For fitness-minded men, the appeal of the protein in Oikos is rich," he said.
Oikos positioned as “excellent source of protein”
Women have “historically” been the main consumers of yogurt, according to Neuwirth.
“Around 65% of traditional yogurt consumption is by women,” he told DairyReporter.com. “But we have observed that men and women are equally as likely to eat Greek yogurt.”
“With the popularity of Greek yogurt, and their higher protein content over traditional yogurt, we are exploring the possibility of marketing our Greek yogurt products to men.”
Greek yogurt has experienced a dramatic increase in popularity in the US in recent years. In mid-2007, Greek yogurt accounted for around 1% of US yogurt sales. It now accounts for approximately 40%.
Dannon's Greek yogurt portfolio consists of Oikos, Light & Fit Greek, and the recently launched Activia Greek. It is the fastest growing in this market, according to Neuwirth.
“We have been making Greek yogurt for three years. We have identified our Oikos brand as the best option to market to men at this time.”
Brands don’t “have to be gender specific”
He added that Dannon has no plans at the moment to launch a Greek yogurt product specifically for men. According to Neuwirth, the company’s existing Greek yogurt portfolio is “broad enough.”
“We aspire to build brands that have relevance based on a specific need. Needs are not gender specific.”
“I don’t know the set length of this promotion, but we will evaluate the impact and the resulting awareness and decide whether to pursue it further,” said Neuwirth.