Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

How to make a sales success at a premium price

Posted on:
November 5, 2018
Julian Mellentin

The success of Yoplait’s Oui yoghurt shows how connecting to the Key Trends is the surest way to increase your chances of success.

Once the leader in the US yoghurt market, Yoplait was late to enter the Greek yoghurt race, and, as a result, it still lags Chobani and Danone, with sales down by 20%.

But with the success of its Oui brand, a ‘French-style’ yoghurt sold in single-serve glass pots, Yoplait has shown that the often-made claim that “Big Food” doesn’t know how to innovate isn’t true. Here is why:

  • Oui by Yoplait combines provenance – which has proven so successful for Greek, Icelandic skyr and Australian-style yoghurt – with artisanal style glass packaging (Key Trend 10 – Authenticity & Provenance).
  • The products are single-serve (Key Trend 7 – Snackification)
  • Oui also connects to the mega-trend of people wanting foods that are ‘as natural as possible’. It’s made with simple, non-GMO ingredients like whole milk (Key Trend 9 – Fat Reborn), pure cane sugar (Key Trend 4 – Sugar), real fruit and yoghurt cultures. It contains no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavours and no colours from artificial sources.

And what is Yoplait’s reward?

Oui is on track for $100 million (€90 million) in annual sales, despite selling at a 200% premium to regular yoghurt (when compared on a price per kilo basis). What’s more, Oui has achieved this in a year in which US yoghurt consumption actually fell slightly. That shows the power of connecting to the Key Trends.

Read more in our 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2019 report, available here:

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Big Food bets on probiotic ice-cream

Posted on:
October 26, 2018

The unstoppable fragmentation of markets and consumer preferences has proven fertile ground for innovative start-ups and niche brands, all the while pushing companies banking on standard products to think harder.

In the case of Big Food, a tested strategy for dealing with fragmentation has been to invest in a portfolio of brands, finely-tuned to diverse consumer needs.

And that is exactly what Unilever has done with the US-launch of a premium probiotic ice-cream.

The Culture Republick brand delivers three billion live active cultures per 570ml of ice-cream from the patented strain GanedenBC30, as well as 16-18 grams of protein, 11-12 grams of fibre, and no artificial sweeteners. It is currently available at select retailers for an average retail price of $3.99-$4.99 (€3.50-€4.40).

Beyond the live probiotic cultures in the ice-cream, Culture Republick is on a mission to foster culture of an artistic nature as well. The new brad is collaborating with emerging artists to design the packaging, giving them a platform to showcase their work.

The probiotic ice-cream range comes in seven different flavours, each with special packaging created by a different artist:

  • Milk & Honey
  • Turmeric Chai & Cinnamon
  • Cold Brew & Chocolate Chi
  • Pistachio & Caramel
  • Lemon & Graham
  • Chocolate & Cherry
  • Matcha & Fudge

Unilever additionally bolstered its “social” credentials by pledging to donate 10% of Culture Republick’s profits to support the arts in local communities.

Leslie Miller, marketing director of Ice Cream at Unilever, emphasised the company’s commitment to culture: “Culture Republick was created with a distinct purpose in mind. We believe that humanity could use a bit more brightness. By combining our passions for culture and ice cream, we intent to do our part in making people feel more balanced, inspired and connected.”

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Provenance: the rise of ‘somewhere’ in preference to ‘anywhere’

Posted on:
October 25, 2018
Julian Mellentin

Globalisation has been a defining feature of the past forty years. But there are signs that more and more consumers prefer the local to the global.

Increasingly even big, mainstream brands feel the need to re-assure customers about the provenance of their ingredients.

One such is So Good – the biggest plant milk brand in Australia and New Zealand. So Good is produced by a company called Sanitarium, which also happens to be the number one in breakfast cereals in both countries. So you can expect Sanitarium to be in touch with the preferences of the mass-market consumer. And it’s clear that mass-market preferences now include some reassurance about where ingredients come from.

Unlike the many plant milks which use almonds from California – a state which accounts for 82% of the world’s almond production – So Good uses almonds from a local source.

“Made with Australian Murray Darling Region Almonds”, the pack states with the region clearly highlighted on a map.

That differentiates So Good from rival imported products, sets up the brand as ‘from here, not there’ and gets the attention of Australian and New Zealand consumers.

In more and more countries people want products that have a back-story about heritage and authenticity. They want something ‘a bit special’. And in a world where ingredients can be ‘from anywhere’, it’s re-assuring that they come ‘from somewhere”. And that somewhere, for more and more people, means their somewhere, the place they identify with and have a sense of belonging.

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