Danone has launched a “new category” of yogurt to Spanish consumers – offering the experience of eating ice cream with the nutritional benefits of yogurt.
The firm has set its sights on the high demand Spanish yogurt market through the launch of the frozen yogurt concept – Yolado – which has been specifically processed to be stored with refrigerated yogurts before purchase, and only frozen at home before consumption.
According to Danone, Yolado is the first yogurt in the world to be specifically developed for this purpose.
The product, which was launched in Barcelona by the France-based firm earlier this month and hit shelves this week, is the product of two years of research and development and an investment of around €10m.
The confirmation comes just weeks after the France-based company voiced concerns over Q1 European market results – results it attributed to “deteriorated conditions in southern countries.”
The firm hopes that its “new category” will offer consumers a “fresh and different experience of yogurt consumption.”
“This product represents a new category of yogurt consumption. [Before purchase] you put it in the yoghurt area, at the same temperature of yoghurt, and [when at home] you put it in your freezer and eat it with the temperature and texture of an ice cream,” Danone Spain director of communications Alvaro Bordas Rios told DairyReporter.com.
The product, which will be available in individual and family size packaging, will be offered in five different flavours.
Initial reports suggested that Danone had invested between €7m and €9m on the development and launch of the product. However, the firm has since confirmed that the final figure was closer to €10m.
The budget was allocated to the implementation and operation of the new business unit, as well as the creation, development and launch of the product.
“Spain is the country with the highest per capita consumption of yogurt in the world and therefore constitutes a unique platform to launch a product like Yolado. Once again our country acts as a model of innovation in Danone offering new option that add value to the consumer,” said Danone director of marketing Santiago Mier.
The launch comes just weeks after the dairy giant announced its results for the first quarter of 2012.
While demand for the firm’s fresh dairy products remained “vigorous” in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, the European market saw a slight dip due to “deteriorated conditions in southern countries.”
Asia recorded volume growth of 14.5% compared with the same period of 2011, while the European market witnessed volume growth go into the red – dropping by 2.4% compared with Q1 2011.
The company predicted that “consumer spending to remain under pressure in Western Europe.”