Yogurt has been a controversial food item in the health food industry because of its nutritional value yet high sugar content. With consumers demanding healthy, low-sugar food alternatives that do not compromise on taste, food manufacturers have been tasked with introducing familiar, yet unique and healthy food options. On Tuesday, CPG giant General Mills announced the launch of YQ by Yoplait, which is a new yogurt product line that contains one to nine grams of sugar and 15-17 grams of protein per yogurt cup.
“We talked to thousands of people to really understand what they were missing from the yogurt aisle. We heard loud and clear the need for a smart snack option – something made with simple ingredients, less sugar and higher protein,” said Doug Martin, Vice President of Marketing for Yoplait USA. “What we’ve been able to accomplish with YQ by Yoplait delivers on this desire. Through our use of simple ingredients, ultra-filtered milk and active cultures, we’ve created a protein-packed, less sweet flavor profile with a thick, smooth, extra creamy texture. It’s unlike anything that exists in the yogurt aisle today.”
This new yogurt is also gluten-free, 99 percent lactose-free and has no artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. In addition, this yogurt is made from ultra-filtered milk that is filtered to concentrate the amount of protein while removing excess sugar and lactose. The ultra-filtered milk is then combined with active cultures and churned using a special technique. According to the company, this manufacturing process results in a yogurt that does not have the “chalky taste” or “tart tang” associated with Greek yogurt. The suggested retail price per 5.3 oz. cup is $1.49 and the 26 oz. tubs are $4.99.
This new addition to the Yoplait portfolio comes right on time as consumers look for healthy, high-protein food options. The company seems to be covering all their bases as they now offer a high-protein yogurt, a niche French-style yogurt (Oui by Yoplait) and snack style yogurts with mix-ins such as nuts and chocolate. As consumers continue to look for niche and healthy food items, Yoplait seems to be incorporating all these qualities in their new selection of products.
YQ also features a bold grey container which will likely stand out in the yogurt aisle because most yogurts are packaged in white or colorful containers. The simple yet chic packaging design will likely appeal to millennials who commonly share products on social media.
Yoplait seems to be trying hard to outperform competitors with their expanded selection of yogurt products. Last year, Chobani, which is known for their large variety of Greek yogurt products, beat out Yoplait in the US yogurt market with a 34 percent market share. This might be why the brand is discrediting the taste of Greek yogurt by referring to it as too tart and chalky. However, their recent efforts haven’t found success as they had experienced an eight percent dip in yogurt sales during their first quarter.
With the yogurt market expected to be worth $232.1 billion by the end of 2026, it will be interesting to see if YQ and other new products introduced by Yoplait increase in sales and value.