“It was about bringing out a product line that met even more consumer demands,” Gerlach told DairyReporter.
“There are consumers that love cream-on-top, there are consumers that love Greek, and what we realized is that there’s large group of consumers who like the flavor, taste, texture of a blended yogurt.”
The texture is creamier and smoother than other products on the market and the fruit is blended throughout the yogurt, according to Gerlach.
Like the rest of Maple Hill's 100% grass-fed organic dairy products, the blended yogurt is made from milk produced by pasture-raised cows who because of their all-grass diet, contain more health fats in their bodies and produce milk naturally higher in omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (an omega-6), according to the company.
Maple Hill’s new blended yogurt flavors vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and plain are available in 5.3-ounce and 24-ounce sizes in major retailers across the US.
Fatigue in Greek?
Greek yogurt continues to dominate the overall US yogurt category, but sales have declined by nearly 5% last year, outpacing the 2.6% decline of overall yogurt sales, according to Nielsen data.
“Is there fatigue in Greek? Yeah, there kind of is,” Gerlach said. “Consumers eat a lot of yogurt and you can get burned out on it if you were to eat the same thing all the time.”
While Maple Hill’s Greek yogurt products continue to perform very well, Gerlach said, the company felt it was missing a group of consumers that preferred a smoother, less dense yogurt style.
Maple Hill’s blended yogurt line hits many of marks health-focused consumers are looking for in their food purchases such as clean label, non-GMO, antibiotic-free, and the company’s biggest statement in its marketing and packaging: 100% grass-fed organic.
“They (consumers) want certainty; they want to know with confidence that what they’re buying is what they believe it is,” Gerlach added.
“That’s what’s driving our business, is the fact that we make a statement; we stand behind it. Presenting that on the package and presenting that through our communications and our website is essential.”
Gerlach added that the company works closely with its key retailers and executes a strong social media strategy to make sure consumers know when and where to find its newly launched products.