Irish dairy group Glanbia is launching a new range of yoghurt drinks under the Yoplait brand which it says will allow it to bridge the fresh dairy market and the functional foods sector.

Yoplait Essence is made using a new process by which naturally occurring nutrients can be condensed into shot-sized yogurt-based drinks, Glanbia says. The company, which owns the Yoplait brand in Ireland, aims to double its share of the country’s functional foods market, worth around EUR85m a year and expanding rapidly, to 12% through the launch of the new range.

“The Yoplait Essence range was developed to meet the main health concerns of an ageing Irish population,” said Glanbia’s marketing director Joe Collum. “This range is the next generation of functional foods providing specific health benefits to consumers in a simple and effective manner. We envisage Yoplait Essence becoming an essential component of Irish consumers’ daily health routine.”