World Dairy Diary

Dairy Producers Help Grow Sales with New Yogurt Smoothie Product

yoplait yogurt smoothieHere’s a new product worth talking about: Yoplait® Yogurt Chips. Did you know that as a dairy producer you helped to launch this new product, which use both yogurt and milk, through your dairy checkoff investment? Dairy Management Inc., in partnership with General Mills, owner of the Yoplait® brand, helped to developed this new line of frozen fruit and yogurt smoothies. The yogurt chips use a breakthrough technology to develop a yogurt product that is blended with fruit and eight ounces of fluid milk.

The smoothies were developed to help meet consumer needs for nutritious and convenient dairy products that also taste good. The smoothies, which can be found in the frozen fruit section in grocery stores nationwide, are available in three flavors — Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Mango Pineapple and Triple Berry.

“Sales of yogurt and smoothie products have been a shining star for the dairy category in recent years,” said Paul Rovey, Arizona dairy producer and chair of Dairy Management Inc.™, which manages the national dairy checkoff. “Checkoff-funded dairy ingredient marketing efforts work with key food and beverage manufacturers to assist in the development of new products that drive volume by highlighting the nutrition, functionality, versatility and good taste of dairy ingredients.”

General Mills, in collaboration with national and local dairy promotion organizations, is rolling out the frozen fruit and yogurt smoothie products in grocery stores across the nation this fall. The launch also will include in-store sampling events to boost sales. Consumer research indicates that, once consumers tried the smoothies, they became regular customers. The smoothies will result in an estimated 120 million pounds of additional milk volume used each year.

Editor’s Note: The Yoplait trademark is owned by Yoplait Marques Internationales SAS (France) and used under license by General Mills. General Mills proudly owns and operates the Yoplait yogurt business in the United States.

Yoplait Yogurt to Change Key Ingredient

b00032g04001-a3cdpegsiqm61v_aa280_sclzzzzzzz_General Mills has announced that it will stop using milk from cows treated with rbST in its Yoplait yogurt by August of 2009. The company claims the move is motivated by consumers wanting the change.

“While the safety of milk from cows treated with rBST is not at issue, our consumers were expressing a preference for milk from cows not treated with rBST, and we responded,” Becky O’Grady, General Mills’ vice president of marketing for the Yoplait brand, wrote in a statement.

The hormone, sold under the brand name Posilac, was first marketed by Monsanto in 1994. The drug was purchased by a division of Ely Lilly last year.

Farmers use the hormone in their herds because it increases milk production by about one gallon per day per cow. It’s approved for use in cows by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which says studies show it is safe for human consumption.

General Mills, based in Golden Valley, had net sales of $14.9 billion in its most recent fiscal year.