Muller quits '1 a Day' yoghurt range in UK

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing

The UK arm of German dairy giant Muller has canned its '1 a Day' healthy yoghurt line after only 12 months, citing retailer disappointment with sales levels and downward pressure on its premiums as fundamental reasons.

The move comes as somewhat of a surprise given the reasonably buoyant sales figures the range achieved inside one year.

The range - which promised consumers one fruit portion of five the UK recommends its citizens consume each day - notched sales of £12.5 (€15.84m) in a year, a level many start-up brands would be pleased to reach.

Muller said retailer pressure and the fact raw material costs had spiraled in the past ten months were decisive factors in the brand's demise.

"1 A Day was already carrying a quality price premium, but the rise in raw material costs since the product was launched has pushed up the price to a point which was proving to be a barrier to sales growth,"​ said Müller UK's marketing and R&D director, Chris McDonough.

He added of the range marketed as a 'convenient route to fruit': "1 a Day is a relatively complex and expensive product to produce because of its high fruit content and the layering process involved during the packaging of the product."

Retailer route

Muller said retailers had not been satisfied with the performance of the range."It's disappointing to have to make this decision, but if a product doesn't meet retailers' targets within six months it will be withdrawn,"​ McDonough said.

He said retailer expectations had increased in recent years which meant new brands had less time to establish themselves if they didn't quickly win widespread consumer acceptance.

"New launches used to have a build-time of around two years to enable them to become established, but the timescale is much shorter now,"​ he said."A significant number of brands launched within the last decade, which are now thriving and successful, had a slow burn start, but they simply wouldn't have survived beyond the six month trial time if they were making their debut today."

De-Ranged

The 1 a Day range included five spoonable yoghurts and three yoghurt drinks and sold at a premium Muller justified through the presence of 80g of fruit in each product, but the hike in raw materials meant Muller found its premiums were being eaten into.

The Muller range retailed at about £2.20 (€2.78) for four 175g pots - a similar price point to another functional yoghurt product - Danone Activia, which is marketed on its probiotic potential.

Muller spent €6.3m marketing the range, including TV advertisements.Research indicates nine out of ten UK consumers don't eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

Related topics: Markets, Yogurt and Desserts

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