Yogurt smoothies deliver all the health and nutritional benefits of yogurt while also meeting consumer needs for a portable, easily consumed, good tasting beverage. Drinkable yogurts contain the health benefits of low fat, calcium, protein, riboflavin, phosphorus and vitamins. But the unique attributes are the live cultures known as probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that naturally reside in the digestive tract and improve intestinal function, promote good digestive health and lead your body's defenses against a number of ailments.
For nonfans, the taste of yogurt can be a turn-off. There is a distinct tang at the end that the yogurt nonconsumer cannot fully accept. Breyers leveraged the brand and flavor profiles of fellow Kraft brand Creme Savers to reassure the general consumer this would be a drinkable yogurt that would taste good.
While many consumers are gravitating toward better-for-you products, strange aftertastes and unfamiliar aromas and textures can be barriers. Yogurt itself can have funky product profiles, and the drinkable version may not fit the expectations of people who grew up on Sunny D and fruit punch.
Kraft is trying to meet the needs of this type of consumer. This is generally a younger adult, energetic and on the go. The Breyers brand is trying to shift the paradigm for consumption of yogurt, to make it more of a mainstream product and less of a specialty health product.
Our Healthy You! and Drink It! studies integrate 20 to 30 conjoint studies to generate a database that can be used to understand the experience of foods in the marketplace. Key attributes for consumption of yogurt are taste, the low amount of fat, price and calories, then more product-related components of texture, healthiness, flavors and then brand -- last. This is key. It says that there are opportunities for other brands to enter this product space if they get the key attributes correct.
The key attributes that consumers will trade off for are flavors, vitamins, all-natural, texture, essential minerals, low fat and a healthy digestive system. These are all product and health benefits. This is not a product we get emotional over. We prefer the sensory and health benefits of yogurt over the emotional reassurances. Drinkable yogurt is consumed most often at breakfast, midafternoon or midmorning.
Smoothies, on the other hand, have as their key attributes taste, texture and healthy ingredients, followed by price, a sense that it's good for you, lots of flavors and then brand. This again shows the opportunity for other brands to enter the market.
The key attributes that consumers will trade off for in smoothies are flavor, low fat, vitamins and minerals, brands and finally texture. Comments we picked up from our sensory panels include: "Thick and richthe consistency of a milkshake"; "Lots of flavor and juice blended with sweet creamy yogurt"; "So refreshing you have to drink more" and "Helps you get your day started."
The keys are convenience, flavor and healthfulness.
Convenience: Manufacturers are responding to consumers' hectic lifestyles by creating packaging that assists convenience. New plastic bottles have an hourglass shape and use brightly colored film over a white bottle to carry the marketing/ brand messages. The Creme Savers bottle very accurately reflects the brand identity of Life Savers spinoff Creme Savers, looking fresh and appealing.
Flavors: Flavorful and unique varieties of drinkable yogurt drive interest. They include berry flavors (cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, cranberry), fruit flavors (peach, apple, pear, grape, banana, melon, watermelon) and cream combination flavors (orange & cream, peaches & cream, strawberry & cream). The difference between flavors for drinkable yogurts and juices (a potential competitive product) are the cream combination flavors. These flavors reflect more of the yogurt heritage.
What is going on in the marketplace? The drinkable yogurt category has experienced a great deal of growth. In 2002, drinkable yogurt was an up-and-coming category, ranked sixth among the fastest growing categories by Information Resources Inc. By 2003, drinkable yogurt sales doubled, growing the category to $32 million. The market leaders are Dannon's Frusion, Yoplait's Nouriche and Stonyfield Farms Smoothie Yogurt. With the drivers of familiarity, convenience, taste and health, Kraft set out to produce a good tasting beverage that could provide the health benefits of drinkable yogurt with a flavor profile that could fit a much larger set of consumers. For branding, Kraft looked within, pairing its Breyers yogurt brand with its candy brand of Creme Savers.
What is going on in the marketplace?
The drinkable yogurt category has experienced a great deal of growth. In 2002, drinkable yogurt was an up-and-coming category, ranked sixth among the fastest growing categories by Information Resources Inc. By 2003, drinkable yogurt sales doubled, growing the category to $32 million.
The market leaders are Dannon's Frusion, Yoplait's Nouriche and Stonyfield Farms Smoothie Yogurt.
With the drivers of familiarity, convenience, taste and health, Kraft set out to produce a good tasting beverage that could provide the health benefits of drinkable yogurt with a flavor profile that could fit a much larger set of consumers. For branding, Kraft looked within, pairing its Breyers yogurt brand with its candy brand of Creme Savers.
Healthfulness: Drinkable yogurt has both the halo of health and the reality of health. Key healthful attributes are calcium and the low level of fat. However, the calorie (190 for Creme Savers) and carbohydrate (28g of sugar) levels are quite high. While these numbers are better than those of Dannon Frusion (270 calories and 49g of sugar), they still make a consumer look at the label and ask: Do I really need this?
Creme Savers Smoothies are available in a 10-oz. container designed for holding and easy consumption. The price is $1.69 - $1.79. Flavors are orange, strawberry and peach. The bottle graphics accurately reflect the Creme Savers branding and lead one to think about an expected experience of fruit and creaminess, just like the popular candy.
The label is the color of the flavor and the swirled variation of cream. The package is marked "made with real Breyers lowfat yogurt." This burst gives the consumer some comfort that this will be a healthy beverage.
Aroma, flavor and texture are critical to the perception of quality in a drinkable yogurt. The aroma is recognizable creamy orange, not overly fruity, and so begins to set the experience that this is a creamy indulgent experience (not quite so healthy), much like the candy.
This product delivers a flavor and textural creaminess that is on the order of Creme Savers without the typical yogurt tang at the end. With the blending of the creme and fruit notes, the product shouts indulgence and taste. It whispers health.
All of our panels were surprised at the taste and said they would consume the entire bottle. In fact, some were concerned they would not be able to stop at just one. Some specifically appreciated the missing yogurt tang.
Does the product deliver?
The Creme Savers brand is about creamy, dreamy flavor. This orange product delivers that in a product form that one would expect would make this execution difficult.
The Creme Savers brand has been leveraged by Kraft into a number of product forms from the original hard candy. Softer forms, such as the Jell-O puddings, have a more difficult time delivering the experience. But this product really delivers.
How to make it bigger
This smoothie is about indulgence with only a hint of health. It will get a larger consumer group into the drinkable yogurt experience, but will not be considered by hard-core, health-oriented consumers. The product has high sodium levels (280 mg) and no fruit (others add juice at 4 percent), but a lower sugar level (28g vs. 49g) than comparable products.
Juice could be added, but that would also increase calories. Fruit chunks, which might deliver more fiber, could fortify the health halo. Other healthy ingredients could also provide a boost. But as a family product that moms can use to get their kids to drink more healthy beverages, this is great.
Rating: Breyers Orange Creme Savers Smoothie Yogurt delivers on all the promises. It delivers an indulgent experience while whispering health. In the orange flavor, it has enough of the taste profile to be a Creme Savers. It will be interesting to see how consumers react to a whisper of health instead of the typical shout that we find in healthful competitors.
Market Potential: Good, for the line, good for the category. As a product that is basically dairy soda, it's a good start on moving non-health-oriented consumers toward nutritious options.