General Mills is launching what it calls a “traditional, French-style” Yoplait yogurt in the US this summer in an attempt to boost its flagging sales in the category.
The US food giant blamed a double-digit sales decline from its US yogurt business as a reason for the 7% drop in its third-quarter net sales to February.
Oui by Yoplait, made with whole milk, cane sugar and real fruit, is described by the company as an “artisanal” product that comes in a glass pot in which each serving is individually cultured using a traditional pot set process. The yogurt is designed to be spoon cut, not stirred, in order to preserve its taste and texture.
“We wanted to bring something special to our US consumers, something we have been enjoying during visits with our French colleagues for many years but is hard to replicate in large quantities here in the US,” David Clark, president of General Mills’ US yogurt business, said. Oui by Yoplait introduces “an entirely new category of yogurt” to the US, he added.
General Mills said the method of making French-style yoghurt and standard US yogurt “differs greatly”. Instead of culturing the ingredients in large batches and then filling individual cups with fully prepared yogurt, Oui by Yoplait is made by pouring ingredients into each individual pot and allowing each glass pot to culture for eight hours.
Glass pots are often used for yogurts in France, which is rare in the US. Being rigid, glass helps to maintain the yogurt’s integrity and enables it to stabilise without the use of added corn starch or gelatin. The glass pots also offer opportunities for upcycling.
Eight flavours, including coconut, black cherry and lemon, will be available in “all major grocery stores” nationwide from next month, with an RRP of US$1.49 per pot. Strawberry and vanilla flavours are also available in packs of four, with a RRP of $4.78.