US food manufacturer General Mills has reformulated its Yoplait original yoghurt to include more calcium.

The product, General Mills said yesterday (13 December), now contains “two times the calcium of the leading yoghurt with 50% of the daily value in each 500mg pot”.

As part of the launch, consumers can visit Yoplait’s Facebook page to sign up for a free pot of Yoplait original yoghurt.

The launch will also see US television presenter Nancy O’Dell partner with Yoplait to help raise awareness of maintaining an active lifestyle and a diet “rich in calcium”.

Yoplait original yoghurt is available nationwide at a suggested retail price of US$0.79 per 6oz pot.

General Mills has held the US licence to Yoplait since 1977 but there is uncertainty about the future of the contract. Sodima, the licensing arm of Sodiaal, one of Yoplait’s shareholders wants to terminate the contract. General Mills has refused and has sought arbitration.

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The future ownership of the Yoplait business is also up in the air, with PAI Partners, the private-equity firm that owns the yoghurt brand in a joint venture with Sodiaal, wanting to sell its stake. Sodiaal has maintained its wants to keep its 50% shareholding.

The likes of Lactalis, Nestle, General Mills and China’s Mengniu Dairy have been linked to a bid for Yoplait. So far, only Lactalis has tabled an offer, which was rejected by PAI and Sodiaal.