From lassi to laban, straggisto to skyr: Danone brings exotic fermented foods to the yoghurt aisle

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

Danone selected the five products from over 350 dairy-based food and drinks from around the world. © Danone
Danone selected the five products from over 350 dairy-based food and drinks from around the world. © Danone
Tapping into the trend for both exotic flavours and healthy, fermented foods, Danone has launched a range of dairy products including lassi, laban, straggisto, skyr and ayran.

The result of four years of research and development (R&D), the ‘Danone du Monde’ (Danone of the World) range has five dairy-based products: Icelandic skyr, Turkish ayran, Indian lassi, Greek straggisto and Lebanese laban.

Launched six months ago in France and then Italy, the world yoghurts are part of Danone’s permanent range, and will soon be launched in the UK.

Innovation manager Maxime Codina told FoodNavigator the range taps into the booming health and wellness trend. “We work mainly on the French market and yoghurts are an integral part of the French eating lifestyle. There is a trend for healthy food alternatives and fermented food is part of this.” 

The products contain “some starter enzymes​” but Codina did not specify which strains or say whether were live bacteria.

The range also aims to appeal to French people’s growing interest in foreign cuisine. According to the 2017 study ‘Think With Google’ Food Marketing Trends, seven out of 10 French people want to discover more foreign foods.

The shortlist: From 350 to five

© Danone

We gathered yoghurts from all over the world -  350 to be exact -  in order to taste them and discuss together how to […] bring new textures, flavours and uses to the French market,”​ Codina said.

Skyr, which has a creamy texture and 0% fat. Danone recommends them at the end of a meal or during breakfast.

It describes laban as a 3% fat multi-purpose yoghurt that can be drunk or used as a culinary base for many dishes or sauces.

Ayran is a salty and fermented milk drink with a 1.5% fat content. “The first time you try ayran, its slightly salty taste is a bit surprising,” ​Danone said. “But you soon get used to this unique taste. In Turkey, it is the flagship drink of meals and summer aperitifs.”

The dairy giant also gave recommendations on how best to enjoy the savoury drink. “Shake it up to make it frothy, pour it into a large glass with ice-cubes and add a slice of lemon or some fresh mint leaves.”

Lassi is a smoothie-style drink that is sweet and flavoured fermented milk. Danone’s lassi contains 1.5% fat and a natural fruit flavour.

Straggisto, meanwhile, is a high protein, creamy natural yoghurt from Greece with a 5% fat content that can also be used for cooking.

The company said the Danone of the World products are “generators of exchange, sharing and opening [with] each recipe an invitation to travel”, ​although it stressed that the products are made in the Pays de Bray dairy in the Northern French region of Haute-Normandie with 100% French milk.

Danone’s recommended retail prices are €1.99 for the skyr and straggiesto, and €2.69 for the laban, lassi and ayran.

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