Yeo Valley's rapping farmers turn to ‘Top Notch’ yogurts with luxury launch

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fruit

Yeo Valley's rapping farmers turn to ‘Top Notch’ yogurts with luxury launch
UK organic yogurt success story Yeo Valley is rolling-out a major rebranding exercise this month, and is launching reformulated and new products, including a new premium range called Top Notch.

The company said it had refreshed its packaging with a new hand-illustrated design and a refreshed brand logo, to reflect its ethos as an independent family farming business from Southwest England.

A new logo comprises a white heart with the words ‘Yeo Valley Family Farm’, and the firm said packaging would emphasise the organic status of products and its ethical farming practices.

Yeo Valley managing director, Tim Mead, said: “We looked for a way to communicate our total support for organic and sustainable farming, and came up with 'Yeoganic'…to show our passion for organic, ethical farming.”

Luxury yogurts to share...

In regard to product launches, Yeo Valley is testing the waters for the first time in the luxury yogurt segment, with its new (450g pot) Top Notch range (pot pictured) which it said was designed for two to share, and will be launched exclusively in Tesco this month.

The products comprise creamy vanilla yogurt with a fruit compote layer, and three flavours are Sticky Fig and Honey, Zingy Lemon and Lime and Sumptuous Strawberry, with an suggested sale price of £2.

The overall UK organic yogurt category has been fairly static in terms of size after impressive growth from 2005-2007, according to research firm Euromonitor International, with retail value sales stuck at £152.8m in 2009 and 2010, up only slightly from 2007 (£150.1m)

Dynamic UK dairy area

However, Euromonitor said that yogurt was one of the most dynamic areas for UK dairy in 2011: "Alongside a wave of new product development, several new entrants to the market (already experiencing growth) generated a new dynamism. Combining health and taste was key to the success of this category."

Flavours remained a key NPD area, Euromonitor said, with "new, indulgent flavours"​ and limited editions the stars of 2011, interesting observations given Yeo Valley's new moves in these areas. 

"Ginger, Russian fudge or fig and dates were some of the additions to Onken, The Collective and Stapleton products. Nonetheless, traditional flavours such as strawberry and vanilla remained most popular in the UK,"​ Euromonitor said.

Organics aside, the research firm said that Müller Dairy UK was the leading yogurt player in 2010 (28% market share), although direct competitor Danone closed the gap that year (24%), as a result of promotional campaigns and sales success for Activia (sales up 10%) and Activia Pouring.

Reformulated products

Yeo Valley's reformulated products include a new 500g ‘Mild and Creamy’ natural yogurt (with a slightly milder taste than the original and a suggested price of £1.49), designed “to appeal to a broad range of palettes, with a rich and slightly sweeter taste”.

Yeo Valley also said that its fat-free natural yogurt (in 150g, 500g and 1kg pots) were thicker, creamier and more luxurious.

New 450g flavours include Rhubard, Peach & Apricot, Blueberrry with a Hint of Lime, Raspberry and Passion Fruit, Mango and Vanilla and (limited edition) Blackcurrent and Elderflower).

The company said it had also improved its 450g Strawberry, Raspberry, fat-free Vanilla, Lemon Curd and Apple and Blackberry flavours; new four-pack yogurt flavours include Pear and Butterscotch.

Yeo Valley is also launching a new limited edition Greek Style yogurt with Lemon and Ginger to complement its existing Greek range, with a suggested sale price of £1.89.

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