The snack plays on two of the yogurt category's hot trends: mix-in ingredients and children's products. Crazy Crunch has a plastic cap containing tiny graham cookies-in kooky face shapes-that can be added to the yogurt.
It's a "full kid proposition," unlike rival Yoplait USA's year-old Crunch 'N Yogurt's broader appeal, said Bob Wallach, VP-marketing at Dannon.
Crazy Crunch, now being introduced into supermarkets, is the third line Dannon has cultivated for kids. In addition to the Sprinkl'ins line launched two years ago, Dannon earlier this year introduced Danimals, featuring sweeter yogurts in animal packaging. Dannon's kid products and Yoplait's Trix yogurt already command 5% of total yogurt sales.
"Two segments of the market are really driving sales: light products and kids," Mr. Wallach said.
Refrigerated yogurt sales rose 9.5%, to $1.5 billion, for the year ended June 19, reported Information Resources Inc.-meaning the category has grown by about 50% so far in the '90s.
Dannon, the market leader with about 34% of sales vs. Yoplait's 22%, is aggressively adding new products to tap into specific consumer desires. For instance, recognizing that reduced-calorie and fat-free yogurts now account for half of all yogurt sales, Dannon now offers its light flavors in quart sizes, and this year added dessert-style Banana Cream Pie and Creme Caramel flavors to its light cups.
The marketer also this year launched its direct competitor to Yoplait Crunch 'N Yogurt, a line of five Dannon Light 'n Crunchy 99% and 100% fat-free yogurts now in about half the country.
Dannon also is testing Tropifruta, a line of yogurts customized for the Hispanic palate with such flavors as guava and mango. Introduced into West Coast markets in April, Tropifruta expanded into Texas markets this summer, with TV support from Font & Vaamonde Associates, New York.
Dannon supports its brand name with umbrella TV and print advertising from Grey Advertising, and earlier this month introduced a new tagline, "Taste why it's Dannon."