Category Captain: Yogurt: General Mills

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Category Captain: Yogurt: General Mills


General Mills focuses its capabilities and solutions on driving yogurt category sales and optimizing the dairy aisle to maximize retailers’ space and profit. Yoplait’s innovation and brand building have contributed to yogurt’s steady household penetration. Plus, Yoplait’s ability to connect with consumers on causes or new items helps sell the brand to customers.

Yoplait Greek Single-Serve offerings, launched in January 2010, quickly grew ACV and household penetration. Yoplait launched Greek Multipacks this past January to offer consumers more size options within this segment, and drive increased dollar ring for retailers. Monthly sales of Greek Multipacks more than doubled after the launch. In July, Yoplait launched Yoplait Light with Granola, which is expected to drive 23 percent of the category growth in the next five years.

General Mills is also expanding yogurt offerings outside Yoplait, with the acquisition of western market leader Mountain High Yoghurt. The company also bought a controlling interest in France-based Yoplait S.A.S., which will allow GeneralMills to grow the Yoplait brand globally as well as domestically.

The new “Destination Dairy” platform has allowed General Mills to gain a deeper understanding on key components of the aisle, such as shoppers’ behavior both inside and outside the store, optimal category space and variety, and new occasion-based promotional insights. The company also leveraged its relationship with Nielsen to develop a five-year dairy aisle growth forecast for each category. General Mills unveiled its “Maximize Yogurt” initiative last July to educate retailers about the need to expand yogurt space to maximize category sales.

Yoplait is the brand leader on all consumer metrics, with the highest brand penetration, loyalty, buy rate and frequency. It continues its emphasis on brand building through product improvements, consumer-driven marketing campaigns and cause-driven marketing, including its trademark “Save Lids Save Lives” campaign, which has donated $30 million to breast cancer research over the past 13 years.