PAI partners may be putting its 50 per cent stake in Yoplait up for sale but that does not mean that business has been put on hold.
In the US, where General Mills owns the franchise to the Yoplait brand, its centerpiece product, the Original yogurt, has taken a trip to the food lab.
Formulators at the company have decided to up the calcium content of the product, which is currently sold across the US in 25 different flavours.
Half of daily intake
The new version now contains 500mg of calcium, which is around 50 per cent of the daily recommended intake for women.
General Mills said the idea behind the reformulation was to make it easier for women to add more calcium to their diets.
It is making the change to the Yoplait Original yogurt at a time when the product is still a strong performer for General Mills.
In financial results just released for the second quarter, the US food giant said net sales at the Yoplait division grew 4 per cent against the equivalent period last year. It said this growth was attributable to the good performance of the Yoplait Original, Yoplait Light and Go-Gurt product lines.
General Mills is one of the names that has been suggested as a potential bidder for the global Yoplait business. After PAI rejected a €1.4bn bid for Yoplait from Lactalis, General Mills has emerged as a front runner in the bidding race, according to some observers.
Last month, Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Capital Markets told this publication said: “I suspect eventually General Mills will be the winner.”
Cox said that as the company has US rights to the yoghurt brand, it doesn’t want the Yoplait stake to fall into unfriendly hands.