In a joint statement issued yesterday, French dairy giant Danone and Starbucks revealed that they have entered into a “strategic agreement” to create and develop an exclusive line of ready-to-eat Greek yogurt parfait products.
The range - to be sold under the Seattle-based coffee chain’s Evolution Fresh brand but marketed as ‘Evolution Fresh, inspired by Dannon’ - will debut in US Starbucks stores in spring 2014, before being rolled out through grocery channels by Dannon in 2015.
On the back of the anticipated US success of the range, Starbucks and Danone intend to expand the distribution of their ‘Evolution Fresh, inspired by Dannon’ Greek yogurt parfait range to “targeted markets around the world.”
“Enhanced” access to US consumers
Dannon currently boasts the fastest-growing Greek yogurt product portfolio in the US, with brands including Oikos, Light & Fit Greek, and Activia Greek.
Through its deal with Starbucks, the company hopes to further its ambition to expand US yogurt consumption.
Commenting, Danone CEO Franck Riboud said that the agreement will boost its access to US consumers.
“With a fast-growing but still low penetration of the yogurt category, the US remains a key growth opportunity for Danone,” said Riboud.
“The recent success of the Greek segment and our Oikos brand have confirmed the growing appeal of tasty and nutritious yogurts for US consumers and established Dannon’s leadership in the market. We believe this attraction will be further enhanced by our new access to millions of consumers though distribution in Starbucks stores, as well as through the addition of an exciting new brand, Evolution Fresh, inspired by Dannon."
Opportunity to grow Evolution Fresh brand
Evolution Fresh, which is a subsidiary of Starbucks, currently markets a variety of juices and natural foods.
Through its deal with Danone, Starbucks hopes to expand its “health and wellness offerings” and fuel the growth of its Evolution Fresh brand.
“Starbucks is committed to evolving and enhancing our customer experience with innovative and wholesome food offerings. Today’s announcement underscores this commitment through the transformation of our existing yogurt offerings and our multi-year agreement with Danone,” said Starbucks chairman, president and CEO, Howard Schultz.
“We are energized by the strong customer response to Evolution Fresh offerings, and believe a strategic agreement with Danone, the world leader in fresh dairy products, affords us the perfect opportunity to grow – and elevate – the Evolution Fresh brand both in our stores and in CPG channels,” Schultz added.