Yoplait boosts media spend, adds new smoothies after 'big little' gain in share
General Mills is looking to build momentum in its U.S. yogurt business with a new campaign, a fresh line of Yoplait smoothies and a boost in media spending.
Yogurt accounts for 12 percent of General Mills’ sales and one of the food giant's priorities for the (current) fiscal year 2020 is to improve results in that category. In the fiscal year that ended in May 2019, its U.S. yogurt retail sales fell 2 percent, matching the decline in the overall U.S. yogurt category, as General Mills pointed out during an investor presentation last week.
The good news for the company is that its share of the market rose 0.1 points in fiscal year 2019, a little win that marked the first time it gained share in yogurt since fiscal year 2015. Also, General Mills focuses on non-Greek yogurt, where industry sales rose 1 percent in fiscal year 2019. Greek yogurt, dominated by players such as Chobani, saw sales fall 6 percent.
The new campaign for Yoplait, “For big little wins,” is the brand’s first project from agency Pereira O’Dell. It features moms and a very enthusiastic voiceover celebrating yogurt-eating kids tackling everyday tasks, such as focusing on challenging math homework or remembering to put a Go-Gurt squeezable yogurt in a lunch box before heading off to school. (Yes, it’s mid-July but the back-to-school season has begun.) The campaign is getting increased media support, Jon Nudi, the company’s group president of North American retail, said during the July 9 investor presentation.
Yoplait previously ran ads from 72andSunny. That agency’s “Mom On” campaign began running in 2017 and included a hotline for people to call as an alternative to judging moms. Ad Age previously reported that 72andSunny was no longer working on Yoplait. General Mills has not yet announced the agencies chosen in its North American agency review.
Back to the yogurt business, the company's plans also include promoting Yoplait with a tie-in to “The Lion King,” bringing out dessert versions of its Oui by Yoplait line, updating the relatively new protein-focused YQ by Yoplait line, and offering lactose-free GoodBelly yogurt.
The 2 percent sales decline and 0.1 point share gain in U.S. yogurt retail sales in fiscal year 2019 are encouraging signs at General Mills. Its U.S. yogurt retail sales fell 11 percent and share fell 1.5 percent in fiscal year 2018, after tumbling 19 percent and 3.8 points in fiscal 2017.