NORWICH, N.Y. — As competition mounts in the yogurt category, manufacturers are repositioning the product as indulgent desserts, low-calorie protein shakes and everything in between. Products are being marketed to specific consumers, including toddlers, children, women, men — and even vegans.
New launches from Chobani, for example, include Greek yogurt paired with nuts and chocolate, blended with quinoa or packaged in child-friendly pouches. The Norwich-based company has announced a major portfolio expansion and new marketing initiatives to maintain market share in the Greek yogurt category. New products for children include Chobani Kids and Chobani Tots Greek yogurt pouches, featuring Disney and Marvel characters on the packaging. Chobani Kids has 8 grams of protein and 25% less sugar than leading children’s yogurt products, according to the company. Varieties include strawberry, banana, chocolate, watermelon and grape. Chobani Tots Greek yogurt pouches are made with whole-milk Greek yogurt and fruits and vegetables, 12 mg of omega-3 DHA, and live and active cultures. Flavors include banana with pumpkin and mango with spinach.
For adults, Chobani is adding varieties to its Greek Yogurt Oats line with ancient grain blends. With 10 grams of whole grains, 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, each cup contains steel-cut oats, quinoa, chia, buckwheat and amaranth, plus Greek yogurt with real fruit. Varieties include mixed berry five-grain and apricot five-grain.
Salted caramel crunch and chocolate hazelnut are the newest varieties in the Chobani Flip Creations line of Greek yogurt products packaged with mix-ins. The Chobani Indulgent line, the brand’s first dessert product launched last year, adds two varieties: dulce de leche caramel with dark chocolate and double chocolate chunk.
New to Chobani’s Limited Batch seasonal Greek yogurt flavors are grape and green tea, available for a limited time.
Finally, the Chobani Simply 100 Greek yogurt line expands with two new flavors, tropical citrus and raspberry lemon, each containing 100 calories per cup.
“Flavor innovation is a big part of the specialness of our brand,” said Peter McGuinness, chief marketing and brand officer for Chobani. “We were the first Greek yogurt company to launch flavors like pomegranate, passion fruit, watermelon and grapefruit, so it’s natural for us to be first with flavors like green tea that excite the shelf, the category and, importantly, our consumers.”
Marketing efforts in the year ahead will include national campaigns, events and sampling programs designed to draw more consumers to the category.
Chobani isn’t the only yogurt company venturing to reinvent the category. The Dannon Co. recently announced a new line of yogurt protein shakes from its Light & Fit brand to appeal to on-the-go consumers. A month before, Dannon introduced Oikos Triple Zero Greek yogurt to lure more men to the category.
And on the rising popularity of dairy alternatives, the Hain Celestial Group has launched Coconut Dream Non-Dairy Yogurt, made with coconuts and free of soy, gluten and lactose.
Also on the way from General Mills is a new line called Yoplait Greek 100 Whips, which offers the protein benefit of Greek yogurt with an airy mousse-like texture.