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General Mills revamps Yop drinkable yogurt

Brand’s refresh includes new packaging and a reformulation

General Mills Canada has revamped its Yoplait Yop drinkable yogurt product with what it describes as “an all-around makeover,” including a product reformulation and more modern packaging.

Brett Bergmann, marketing manager for Yoplait Canada’s kids business, which also includes the Minigo, Minigo Greek and Tubes brands, says it is the first major refresh for Yop since General Mills acquired the brand license from Ultima Foods in 2012.

The new packaging includes a more brightly coloured sleeve wrap, complete with a visual representation of each of Yop’s eight flavours: banana, blueberry, cherry, peach, raspberry, strawberry-banana, strawberry and vanilla.

The new outer sleeve now comes nearly to the top of the 200-millimetre bottle, making it easier for shoppers to identify individual flavours when Yop products are stored in bunker coolers, says Bergmann.

“It wasn’t standing out at shelf as well as we thought it could be,” said Bergmann of the previous Yop package. “The new brighter colours really do pop at shelf .”

The company has also introduced a new curvier bottle that both makes Yop easier to hold and gives it a more modern look. “It’s quite a significant change when you see it on shelf,” says Bergmann. “It looks like a 21st century bottle versus one that is 30 years old.”

Inside the bottle, General Mills has addressed a consumer trend towards what Bergmann describes as “free-from products.” The new Yop has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and features a “cleaner and shorter” ingredient panel, he says.

While Yop is aimed primarily at teenagers, with a fairly even male/female split, it does have “all-family appeal,” says Bergmann. It is intended primarily as a breakfast product, although the new re-sealable cap makes it easier for consumers to enjoy multiple drink occasions throughout the day, he says.

General Mills is supporting the brand refresh with point-of-purchase marketing material that retailers across Canada have used to create their own displays.

Yop is sold in individual bottles, as well as a six-pack of strawberry and both six- and 12-bottle variety packs. In Quebec, General Mills has introduced a caddy that enables shoppers to create their own variety pack.

The Yoplait brand boasted a 41.5% share of Canada’s estimated US$228.7 drinkable yogurt market in 2014, according to data supplied by Euromonitor International, followed by Danone Groupe’s DanActive (31.5%), Lactalis’ Astro brand (12.5%), Iögo (8%) and Danino (3.7%). Yop is also sold in France, Belgium, the U.K., Ireland, Spain and Switzerland.

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