Yeo Valley Organic, the UK-based organic dairy products producer, has revamped the packaging for its yoghurt brand in a bid to become the number three player in the British yoghurt market.
The culmination of a wide ranging product development programme and extensive research with the company's widening consumer base, the relaunch incorporates not only new packaging for the brand, but also a new logo and new products. It will be backed by an advertising and promotional campaign from mid May.
Yeo Valley Organic's growth has been phenomenal in the last few years, leapfrogging longer established conventional dairy brands such as St Ivel, Onken and Danone. The company cited recent data which showed that it was the fastest-growing brand during the last 12 months, with year on year growth of 30 per cent. This has now lifted it ahead of Yoplait, making it the fourth biggest brand in the £670 million yoghurt market.
Announcing the relaunch plans, Yeo Valley Organic marketing director Ben Cull said: "Most people are surprised that an organic brand has reached the number four position in a major grocery market. Our aim now is to maintain our growth rate. If we do, then we should end the year within reach of the number three position.
"Organic has been the most dynamic sector of the yoghurt market since the late 1990s and we now account for 54 per cent of the organic dairy business - with a brand share five times that of our nearest organic rival. As the major player, it is important that we lead development in the future and that is what we are doing with this project."
He said that much of the growth in the last year had come from the expansion in the Yeo Valley range, which now includes butter, desserts and ice cream, and the number of products will once again be increased this month. But this too has its own challenges.
"We needed a new iconic look that would help shoppers to navigate to us easily, no matter where our products are in the dairy fixture," said Cull. "Our research had shown that a lot of consumers feel organic packaging is generic. We felt that as the brand leader, we needed to respond to this by creating a new design standard. The new identity has been developed to set us apart from everyone else and to give us a strong distinctive look."
He continued: "We have the organic market's strongest brand loyalty by far and the new design will work effectively right across our product range, helping people to find us more easily no matter where we are in the dairy fixture.
"The 'natural' look that many organic companies adopted at the start is now too worthy for the mass market. What the majority of consumers want are additive-free, organic products which look like those that they normally buy, but that taste better, cleaner and more natural. That's what we are offering," Cull claimed.
An important part of the relaunch is expansion of Yeo Valley Organic's range of four pot cluster packs. Four-packs are currently the fastest developing part of the yoghurt market and to match the growing demand, the company is widening its range of fat-free and adult indulgent yoghurts selections from four to seven, introducing new products such as Smoothies Selection, Tropical Treats and Greek yoghurts with strawberries and honey.
"We are also following up the success of our award winning Pot Au Chocolat and Pannacotta luxury desserts with innovative developments like fruited crème fraiche recipes and the launch of an adult fromage frais dessert. These are highly fruited and based on our premise of simple things done well."
Yeo Valley is not the only company trying to carve a niche for itself in this fast growing segment of the British dairy market. Yesterday we reported that one the largest US organic dairy producers, Horizon Organic, was to step up its presence in the UK market via a joint venture with Yoplait Dairy Crest - also focusing initially on the four-pack segment.