Dubbed ‘brogurt’ at its 2015 launch given its focus on men and tie-up with the NFL, Triple Zero is nevertheless designed to appeal equally to men and women looking for high protein and low sugar snacks, VP marketing Jeffrey Rothman told FoodNavigator-USA.
“We’re targeting Millennial consumers, both male and female, who have busy active lifestyles and are looking for high protein products with no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners.
“We partnered with America’s most watched sport to make Triple Zero more well known as a component of the average American daily eating or snacking routine, as despite its growth, the brand still only has 10-11% household penetration, so there is a huge runway to increase awareness and usage.”
He added: “It’s been performing extraordinarily well, and it continues to grow at a rapid rate; we’re continuing to increase distribution, but we’re also adding new items and choices, and velocity is increasing, so it’s hitting all the KPIs.”
Are consumers losing interest in ‘light’ yogurts?
While Chobani has dropped its Simply 100 Greek yogurt range and says consumers are losing interest in ‘diet’ yogurts, and Yoplait’s ‘light’ range has been performing badly, Dannon’s Light & Fit range is performing well, claimed Rothman.
“It’s the largest brand in our yogurt portfolio and continues to grow, despite what has happened in the broader store, we’ve bucked that trend because it’s a product that appeals to people’s desire for low calorie, great-tasting food without compromising.”
He also acknowledged that attempts to reduce sugar in the Oikos blue cup portfolio had alienated some fans, prompting a return to the original recipe last August (although some other changes to clean up the label were retained), adding: “The lesson that we learned was that consumers don’t want you to change something that they love.”
After parting company with Cam Newton, Dannon has teamed up with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to front its new ‘Fuel Your Hustle’ ad campaign designed to educate consumers about the “importance of protein snacks and rethinking snack routines.”
Growth opportunities: Plant-based, drinkables, probiotics, high protein
So where are the growth opportunities in the overall yogurt category, and why is the category overall looking sluggish?
“We’re the leader in the yogurt category and our business continues to grow," said Rothman, "so you can attribute most of the issues that the category has to the players in decline… so General Mills accounts for virtually all of the losses that we are seeing in the category.”
He added: “Areas of growth we are participating in are organic, plant-based, drinkables, probiotics [Activia] and things like Triple Zero that are high in protein and low in sugar, and we are a leader in virtually all of these trends.
“We’re also seeing whole milk and more indulgent products, so we have a growing business in mix-ins and toppers, and we’ve recently done a regional launch of a new range of yogurts leveraging the International Delight brand, which is known for great taste and indulgence in coffee.”
The products have only been on the market in selected stores in the east coast for around a month, but early feedback has been encouraging, he said.
Silk, So Delicious
The acquisition of Whitewave Foods had also given parent company Danonewave a significant position in the small but fast-growing plant-based yogurt market, added Rothman, who said the company had strong positions in soy- and almond-based (Silk) and coconut-based (So Delicious) products, but was exploring other bases including cashews for new products.
“The soy based Silk yogurts are growing slowly, but the almond-based yogurts are growing at an incredibly rapid rate, while the So Delicious [yogurts] are also growing at 40% year on year.”