General Mills - which has recently ceded the #2 spot in the yogurt category (behind Dannon) to Chobani - says the Oui range draws on Yoplait’s Gallic roots to “bring an entirely new yogurt taste and texture to the US market.”
The Oui range – which will hit stores in July with an MSRP of $1.49 - is made by pouring ingredients into individual glass pots, and allowing them to set and culture for eight hours (rather than culturing the ingredients in large batches and then filling individual cups with fully prepared yogurt).
The result, claims the company, “is a uniquely thick, delicious yogurt that has a subtly sweet, fresh taste,” that is distinct from strained Greek yogurt, which is thick, but has a tarter taste and higher protein content.
5g protein, 15g sugar, 160-170 calories
While rival Dannon's dessert-inspired Creamery range - a thick, more indulgent non-Greek yogurt launched in 2014 - did not set the world on fire, the Oui range is going for a more traditional, authentic feel, reflecting consumer demand for more 'artisanal' products, traditional production methods and simpler ingredients lists.
Each 5oz pot of Oui has around 160-170 calories, 5g protein and 15g sugar (the plain version has 6g sugar and 130 cals) and contains milk, cane sugar, fruit, fruit juice for color, pectin, natural flavors and yogurt cultures, but no gelatin, gums or modified starch, said Doug Martin, director, Yoplait, in a post on the Taste of General Mills blog:
“We’re really going back and embracing the way yogurt was made in the past to help create an entirely new category in the yogurt aisle.”
Speaking on the firm’s Q3 earnings call in late March, chairman and CEO Ken Powell said General Mills had recently “renovated a significant portion of our core yogurt business including a complete reformulation and relaunch of Yoplait Greek 100,” but still needed to tap into “faster growing more premium yogurt segments.”