‘The biggest growth is in what we call simply better health… people are looking for really low sugar’

The firm’s US yogurt sales were down -6% YoY in Q4 (three months to May 30, 2021) lapping the panic-buying phase of the pandemic, but were up 1% YoY in the full year, with core Yoplait Original sales up 4% vs two years ago, Hamacher told FoodNavigator-USA (according to SPINS data, the overall yogurt category incl drinks was up 2.2% to $8.43bn in the 52 weeks to July 11).

Yoplait is really focused on taking the natural goodness of dairy and turning it into a joyful experience the whole family will love… we’ve added more fruit to every cup, increased our vitamin D and calcium, and made sure we had sizes everybody would love, and we’ve seen that business really start to turn around.”

‘The :ratio keto business in particular has been very incremental to the category’

As for category dynamics, she said, the kids’ segment is growing, presenting opportunities for GoGurt, especially as parents look for more on the go options as kids go back to school, “but the biggest growth is in what we call simply better health, which is really low sugar alternatives to traditional yogurt, so that is roughly a half a billion dollar section of the category and it’s growing very strongly.

Picture credit: General Mills

“So we launched the ratio keto-friendly products a year ago​ [15g fat, 15g protein, 1g sugar], that was the largest launch in the category and continues to perform quite nicely, and then we have the new :ratio high protein line​,​ which was just launched this past spring ​[25g protein, 3g sugar].”

She added: “The :ratio keto business in particular has been very incremental to the category. Keto is a distinct diet, but it’s also code for ‘low carb,’ which is a kind of broader diet some consumers are following than ​[strict] keto​ [staying in a state of ketosis requires considerable discipline]. If you look at online searches, keto is among the top three [in] yogurt searched on almost every platform.

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