Worth £255m in convenience, yoghurts and pot desserts is a crucial category to get right. Joseph Lee looks at how you can make more from this often-overlooked category.
Milk and dairy drinks
Getting your milk range right for your shoppers is essential, because that’s what brings customers to the dairy section most often.
Research has shown that customers spend 30% more when they have milk in the basket.
Specialist drinks within the category are on the rise, particularly those with a health-conscious message.
With fruit juices and fizzy drinks coming under scrutiny for their sugar content, manufacturers are launching no-added-sugar milk drinks. Yazoo no added sugar is being joined by Frijj zero added sugar, which also comes in limited-edition flavours, Choco-Coconut and White Chocolate & Pistachio.
“We will increasingly target both men and women, who not only want the great taste of Frijj, but also want to reap the health benefits that come from dairy,” says Michael Inpong, chief marketing officer at Müller.
Yoghurt & desserts
Over the next three years, there’s an estimated £230m of potential growth in the yoghurt category, and this is likely to be driven by new products.
Clare Denham, head of category & market strategy at Danone Dairies, says healthier yoghurts and desserts will play a large role in this: “Sugar reduction plays an important part in the discussion around healthier living. Brands like Light & Free respond to this need,” she adds.
Another part of this is increasing the choice of formats, she says, with demand for big yoghurt pots on the increase. “Natural health yoghurts and desserts are the biggest segments and growth areas in the category,” says Denham.
Müller is launching 500g Müllerlight Greek Style pots in three flavours, Luscious Lemon, Coconut & Vanilla and Skinny Latte. Inpong says: “Having a range which now includes both small pots and big pots gives consumers the choice of enjoying yogurt the way they want to.”
To succeed in this category, retailers should stock the top products from larger stores. According to Lancashire Farm Dairies managing director Azhar Zouq, shoppers now head for formats traditionally stocked in the big retailers when they visit a convenience store.
Müller is aiming to increase the number of times a day when consumers might choose to eat yoghurt, with a range of new products to encourage that. They include Müllerlight Kremas, containing fat-free whipped Greek yoghurt, Müller Corner Goes Nuts and Müller Corner Müesli.
“We’re committed to developing a range which provides an option for every occasion. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, snack or dessert, we’re making sure that there is a choice for everyone throughout the day,” says Inpong.
Merchandising the future
Once you have selected your products, creating a display that grabs your shoppers’ attention is the next step to driving sales.
“Convenience retailers should make it easy for their customers to navigate the fixture by placing similar products together like big pots, health, diet, luxury treats, and kids’ yoghurts,” says Denham.
Where you position the fixture is key. Richard Duplock, Yazoo marketing manager, says that sales of milk drinks can double when they’re placed at the front of a store with soft drinks, where they can benefit from higher footfall and impulse purchases.
“To make the most of soft drink sales, retailers should ensure they’re refreshing their displays to capitalise on seasonal trends,” he says.
“Flavoured milks consistently enjoy their highest-selling months in the summer. Retailers wanting a slice of this category should restock their chillers with a selection of flavoured milk.”
Retailers can also boost sales by cross-merchandising yoghurt with complementary products such as fruit.
“Yoghurt is an incredibly versatile ingredient and should be treated as such,” says Zouq.
“For example, cross-merchandising yoghurt in the chiller with fresh strawberries as a summer snacking idea could encourage increased consumer basket spend through an impulse purchase.”
“Large natural yoghurts are very popular. People like them because they can add their own fruit to them. We stock large and small pots.
“We don’t stock multipacks because our customers are often people on their own and the families nearby tend to go to the bigger supermarkets.
“We’re very limited on space in our fridge, so we only stock things we know will sell well.”
“We mostly just stock big, premium brands.
“Activia and Müller Corner are the big sellers for us. At the moment Activia is on at four for £1 and we’ve got Müller Corner at two for £1.20. When it’s on a deal people stock up on them.
“Shoppers are comparing everywhere now, so special offers are very important. People are looking for promotions and it keeps the stock moving.”
West Chiltington, West Sussex