The Paris-based dairy giant announced late last week that it had acquired a 100% stake in YoCrunch – a Connecticut-based firm specializing in the manufacture of yogurt with separately packed crunchy toppings.
Danone believes that the deal will “strengthen it offer in the United States by widening its range of products.” Dannon – Danone’s US yogurt business – boasts an already extensive product portfolio, which includes its Activia, Oikos, Light & Fit, Danimals, and Fruit on the Bottom brands.
Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Dannon senior director of public relations, Michael Neuwirth said that through this purchase, the company hopes to “expand the number of ways people enjoy yogurt from day to day.”
“It is an additional way for people to enjoy yogurt. Particularly those who like the satisfaction that comes with a crunch,” said Neuwirth. “With these yogurts there is a satisfaction that comes with the crunch.”
“We see this as a terrific opportunity to expand our yogurt portfolio into an area we haven’t covered too much in the past.”
“It is a fast growing segment of the yogurt category, and YoCrunch is the market leader when it comes to yogurt with toppings,” he said.
Licensed toppings “best performing”
YoCrunch currently boasts 27 crunchy topping varieties, including a number it manufactures under license.
It currently holds licensing agreements with a number of well-known national brands, including Oreo (Mondelez), M&Ms (Mars), and Butterfinger (Nestlé).
According to Neuwirth, Dannon has every intention of maintaining these lucrative licensing agreements/
“We see the value of YoCrunch’s existing licenses, they bring tremendous value,” he said. “In fact, YoCrunch products with licensed toppings are the best performing.”
“There is definite value in maintain these licenses,” he added.
Search for synergies
Dannon also hopes to benefit from YoCrunch’s unique expertise in compartmentalized packaging.
In the meantime, however, the two firms will be operated separately - with no impact on YoCrunch's existing workforce.
“In terms of manufacturing, there will be no changes made at the plant aside from helping the company to operate with greater efficiency,” said Neuwirth.
“Right now we plan to manage Dannon and YoCrunch separately because currently they are both growing very nicely.”
“But it is certainly possible that we will look for synergies in the near future,” Neuwirth added.