The new ‘blended’ Yoplait Greek range - which hits shelves in August - comes in six flavors – Blueberry, Coconut, Pineapple, Strawberry Raspberry, Tangerine and Vanilla, and has a "superior taste" to rival products, said General Mills CEO Ken Powell in the firm's Q4 earnings call.
"It’s a filtered traditional Greek yogurt. It has absolutely a terrific taste profile, and we believe that will be very well received by consumers. Retailers are quite enthusiastic about it as we bring that to market. This product’s point of difference is its superior taste."
Each 5.3oz pot contains 150 calories or fewer and 11g of protein, more than twice as much as regular non-Greek yogurt, claims Yoplait.
“New Yoplait Greek yogurt offers everything you love about Greek yogurt – thick and creamy texture, high protein and simple ingredients – with real pieces of fruit and an exquisite taste.”
A spokeswoman added: "Yoplait has discontinued its other Greek yogurt product.
"We felt that we owed it to our consumers to deliver the best taste experience possible through our new Yoplait Greek offering. We have been working with research and development, consumer insights and consumers to ensure we deliver everything consumers love about Greek yogurt along with a delicious, creamy taste that they have come to know from Yoplait.
"We feel confident that new Yoplait Greek delivers that great taste experience."
The yogurt contains natural colors, flavors and sweeteners and has a suggested retail price of $1.29 per cup.
Yoplait Greek 100 on track to deliver $140m in retail sales in its first year
Yoplait has been steadily expanding its Greek portfolio in the past couple of years, recently launching a new product targeting tweens called Yoplait Pro-Force, which is high in calcium and protein and contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners (click here).
However, its biggest hit to date has been the Yoplait Greek 100 range, which is on track to deliver $140m+ in retail sales in its first year on the market, revealed Powell on the earnings call.
"Our launch of Yoplait Greek 100 Calorie yogurt is a clear success. Year one retail sales for this product are expected to exceed $140m. We’re launching a multi-pack version and supporting the line with increased levels of advertising.
"We’ve got a new line of Yoplait Fruitful yogurt, a new high protein variety of Gogurt, and the continuing U.S. regional rollout of Liberte yogurt. So all of this should fuel US yogurt growth this year.
We're not trying to out-promote anyone with Greek 100
"And outside the US, our yogurt business is posting good sales and share increases in key markets.
"We’re a leading player in the emerging Greek yogurt segment in Canada, the UK and France, with brands ranging from Liberte to Yoplait Yopa, to Yoplait Source. And we’re developing the reduced calorie segment in various global markets with Weight Watchers endorsed product lines."
Asked about the aggressive price promotions in the Greek segment in the US, he said: “The promotional in-store strategy I would say is very much in the zone, and very competitive. We’re not trying to out-promote anybody with Greek 100. We don’t feel we need to. We’re really driving it with consumer awareness building."
He added: "In the US we fell short of our goal to renew annual sales growth [in overall yogurt sales] in 2013. However, we did post a modest increase for the fourth quarter of the year, and we intend to build on that momentum in 2014."
Chobani unveils raft of new flavors
The Yoplait Greek re-launch was announced as Chobani unveiled a series of new flavors to broaden its Greek yogurt portfolio, including low-fat apricot and non-fat blackberry fruit-on-the-bottom variants of its core 6 oz. cups plus new blended low-fat coconut, Key Lime and Orange Vanilla options.
The Chobani Flip range (which mirrors Müller Quaker Dairy's 'corners' products) has also been expanded to include four new flavors:
- Blueberry Power– Blueberry non-fat Greek yogurt with chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts
- Nutty for Nana– Banana low-fat Greek yogurt with honey roasted salted almonds and dark chocolate
- Peachy Pistachio– Peach low-fat Greek yogurt with pistachio and dark chocolate
- Tropical Escape– Pineapple coconut low-fat Greek yogurt with toasted coconut, hazelnut and granola
Meanwhile, the Chobani Bite range (a smaller format 3.5oz 100 calorie pot with 8g protein) now includes Honey with Ginger, and Mint with Dark Chocolate Chips.
Finally, the Chobani Champions range for kids has been boosted with a new 'Flyin' Dragon Fruit' flavor for tubes, while two most popular flavors in its 'tubes' range - Blueberry and Strawberry - are now available in 3.5 oz. cups.
"Our new products are designed to surprise and delight consumers – welcoming some to Greek yogurt for the first time through a familiar format like our blended yogurt, challenging the taste buds of others with exotic and trending ingredients like chia seeds and ginger, and servicing new occasions like snacking and mindful treats in order to help expand the category," said John Heath, Chobani's senior vice president of innovation.
"We know that the yogurt market in America is just beginning; European consumers eat up to seven and a half times more yogurt per capita. So this launch, and every launch, for Chobani is about giving people new and exciting ways of experiencing our Greek yogurt."
Click here to read about all the latest developments in Greek yogurt.