WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The Dannon Co. is diving into dips with a scoopable spin-off of its popular Oikos brand of Greek yogurts.
The company touts its new line of Greek yogurt-based dips as a healthier alternative to higher-fat dairy dips. Per two-tablespoon serving, Oikos Dips have 25 calories and 1 gram of fat, compared with 60 calories and 5 grams of fat in a leading dairy dip. The product also contains 2 grams of protein per serving and live yogurt cultures.
“It links back to our ambition to be all things yogurt to everyone and to provide easy, delicious and nutritious ways for Americans to eat yogurt every day,” said Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations for Dannon, a subsidiary of Groupe Danone. “So, that means making terrific-tasting, nutritionally sensible products available in yogurt in lots of different ways, and that certainly includes dips.”
Americans, on average, eat a serving of yogurt less than once a week, Mr. Neuwirth said. Dannon hopes its dips will boost yogurt consumption as well as shake up the sleepy category of dairy dips, which has suffered as consumers trade up for higher-end spreads such as hummus and guacamole.
“The premium segment of dips is performing very well, while the dairy dips segment is flat or down and ripe for opportunity and innovation,” Mr. Neuwirth said.
The dips are available in four flavors: French onion, which is the highest-selling dairy dip flavor; roasted red pepper, the top hummus flavor; vegetable and herb and cucumber dill.
“Our first foray is in savory because those are the primary flavor preferences,” Mr. Neuwirth said. “We do recognize that, among dip consumption, fruit is used in 28%. Raw veggies is No. 1 at 55% as the accompaniment to a dip; chips is at 39%. I can’t speculate about future launches, but fruit and sweet are certainly on the radar.”
Going Greek has been a hot ticket for Dannon. Since the 2011 launch of Oikos, which generated more than $283 million in year-one sales, Dannon has added Greek varieties to its Light & Fit and Activia portfolios.
The company also recently introduced new flavors of frozen Greek yogurt mixes for its YoCream business in food service.
“Today, the total yogurt universe is about 43% Greek,” Mr. Neuwirth said. “We’re all things yogurt – we’re also the 57% that’s not Greek. So, we’re not losing sight of the traditional side, while at the same time we are bringing great new product ideas both in traditional yogurt in supermarkets as well as in adjacent categories and complementary business settings.”