The pudding- and cheesecake-inspired range - which will hit shelves nationwide in July with an MSRP of $1.69 - comes in 5.3 oz cups designed to evoke the feeling of a dessert bowl, Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations at Dannon, told FoodNavigator-USA.
More than 70% of yogurt consumption is before 4pm
While eating yogurt for dessert in the evening is common in Europe, he said, “Americans are for the most part enjoying yogurt for breakfast or as a snack in the morning, mid or late afternoon. More than 70% of yogurt consumption is before 4pm.”
He added: “So there is a huge swath of the day where Americans aren’t enjoying yogurt. Our ambition with Dannon Creamery is to fill that opportunity with an absolutely delicious indulgent dessert.”
The range has a thick, creamy texture and includes three puddings: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla; and five cheesecake-inspired flavors made with Greek yogurt topped with fruit sauce: strawberry, blueberry, cherry, lemon, and caramel.
However, the calorie count - while higher than regular Greek yogurt - is still relatively low at around 200 per 5.3oz pot, while the sugar content is “comparable to sweetened yogurt”, he said. “It’s a smart option for indulgence.”
This is not a line extension, but a completely new brand
While rival Chobani is launching a new range called Chobani Indulgent this summer (click HERE), the Dannon Creamery range takes the category into “new territory”, claimed Neuwirth, noting that it is “not a line extension, but a completely new brand”, Dannon’s first since the launch of Oikos.
While it contains Greek yogurt, this is not flagged up on the pot, which has been designed to have an “artisanal” look, added Neuwirth.
Retail customers were extremely positive about the launch as they saw it as adding incremental growth to the dairy category rather than cannibalizing sales from Greek yogurt, he said.
While Chobani still had the edge over Dannon in terms of market share for Greek yogurt at US retail outlets according to Nielsen data for the 52 weeks to June 1 (Chobani had 16.9% share of dollar sales vs Dannon’s 15.8%), Dannon was the clear leader in the total yogurt category with 28.5% compared with Chobani’s 16.9% share over the same period, he said.
Asked when the co-branded Evolution Fresh/Dannon yogurt parfaits would be launching at Starbucks (the launch was originally scheduled for spring 2014 - click HERE), he said that the firm would have some news to share shortly.