The duo launched March 31 “handcrafted” Evolution Fresh smoothies that combine Dannon’s Greek non-fat yogurt with Evolution Fresh’s cold pressed fruit and vegetable juices. They also will roll out this spring and summer Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt products, Inspired by Dannon, including Greek yogurt parfaits and fruit on the bottom Greek yogurts.
The teams’ collaboration with Starbucks will magnify further the impact of the new products by providing premium placement in high-traffic distribution outlets that also limit access to other players in the highly competitive Greek yogurt and high pressure pasteurization juice categories.
Dannon and Evolution Fresh’s new products are well positioned to capitalize on consumers’ increasing demands for minimally processed foods with clean ingredient lists, the firms say in a release. They note the new products have no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
The launches come at a time when sales of Greek yogurt, while still growing, are slowing. The category’s sales grew high single and low double digits for several years, but last year slowed to only 3.4%, according to Packaged Facts.
Other Greek yogurt makers also are wheeling out new products in an effort to gain an edge in the competitive market, and are promoting their yogurts at public events to raise awareness and sales.
Smoothie category worth $2.2 billion
Dannon and Evolution Fresh expand their presence in the $2.2 billion smoothie category with the launch of their new line of thick juice and yogurt-based beverages.
The line includes a classic strawberry smoothie “enhanced with apple and banana,” and also more adventurous flavors, including Mango Carrot and Sweet Greens, which is a “vegetable forward” smoothie balanced with mango and banana, the firms say.
The smoothies also are on trend because they can be customized with the addition of fresh kale, protein powder and extra Greek yogurt at the Starbucks where they are distributed.
For now, the smoothies will be available at Starbucks in the Pacific Northwest and at select Starbucks located inside grocery stores nationwide where they will be positioned as an afternoon snack.
Parfaits and flavored yogurts
Later this Spring, the companies will launch Greek yogurt parfaits with granola and strawberries, cherries, seasonal berries or honey.
The parfaits will launch in significantly fewer Starbucks – only 6,000 – but will be available nationwide.
Once the Starbucks related launches are out of the way, the companies will introduce this July at grocery stores nationwide fruit on the bottom Greek nonfat yogurts.
The four flavors of branded yogurts will be packaged in see-through cartons, which are on-trend. Packaged food companies increasingly are using clear packaging and windows to allow consumers to see the actual food, which makes it appear fresher and healthier.
Alpina Foods launches coffee infused yogurt
Evolution Fresh and Dannon are not the only companies innovating in the Greek yogurt category currently.
Alpina Foods also announced March 30 its launch of the “first-ever line of yogurt infused with real coffee.” The Alpina Café Selections will come in Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Vanilla Latte and Coffee.
Other yogurt makers have launched coffee yogurts over the years, but Alpina dismisses them as only “flavored” like coffee. It notes because its yogurts include real Columbian coffee they will include 30-50 mg of caffeine, or the amount in about half a cup of coffee.
The addition of the eye-opening stimulant could help the yogurt appeal to afternoon snackers who also want an extra energy boost.
Greek Gods on the run
Hain Celestial also will showcase its news Greek Gods brand yogurt flavor – Black Cherry – in April at the Central Market Thrill of Grill 5k race.
The firm’s brand spokesman Dean Karnazes will promote the product at the event, as well as participate in the race that will benefit the non-profit Operation Finally Home, which builds mortgage-free homes for veterans and their families.