PARIS — The yogurt market in the United States is one in which Danone S.A. still sees “a big potential for the future,” said Cecile Cabanis, chief financial officer of Danone, during an April 19 earnings call with financial analysts. With such brands as Dannon, Activia, Oikos, Stonyfield and YoCrunch, the Paris-based company continues to gain market share in the category behind accelerated innovation and increased investment, Ms. Cabanis said.
|Cecile Cabanis, c.f.o. of Danone|
“Overall in the U.S. our efforts to shepherd the development of the category and investment behind brands bring very strong results,” Ms. Cabanis said. “We continue to improve market share, with a leading position at more than 35% market share at the end of March. As a result, we can say that U.S. dairy has successfully reaccelerated growth to a solid mid-single-digit, and this trend should continue in the quarters to come.”
Recent launches include Activia Fruit Fusion, which features a layer of fruit puree topped with low-fat yogurt, and Light & Fit Greek Crunch, a line of nonfat yogurts packaged with mix-ins, such as fudge-covered pretzel pieces or white chocolate and graham cracker crumbles. The Oikos Triple Zero platform also continues to be “very successful,” Ms. Cabanis said.
For the first quarter of the fiscal year, Danone sales on a reported basis fell 3% to €5,306 million ($6,035.6 million) from year-ago sales of €5,471 million, reflecting the negative impact of foreign currency translation. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased 3.5%, reflecting 0.8% growth in volume and a 2.7% rise in value.
For the full year, the company continues to expect like-for-like sales growth in a range of 3% to 5%.“Q1 results are overall fully in line with our expectations, of course, at the low range of the guidance, with some situations that were better than expected…” Ms. Cabanis said. “So, overall there is no change versus our expectations. We are progressing on our key priorities across businesses and across geographies.”