- Chobani is launching a campaign for its light Greek yogurt brand, Chobani Simply 100, but this campaign goes beyond promoting the product's benefits.
- The campaign targets other light Greek yogurts from Yoplait and Dannon, pitting those brands' use of artificial ingredients against Chobani's formulation, which it says contains only natural ingredients.
- This is Simply 100's first big marketing campaign after a series of tweaks and sales gains, though the brand debuted in 2014.
Though products like Yoplait Greek 100 and Dannon Light & Fit Greek had been on the market for two to three years before Chobani Simply 100, Chobani CMO Peter McGuinness told Ad Age the reason for the wait: "We wanted to develop a light yogurt using only natural ingredients and not using artificial sweeteners and artificial preservatives, among other things."
Tweaks to the product have included switching from fruit on the bottom to a blend and updated packaging, which led to double-digit sales growth last year.
The campaign is also well timed to align with arguably the most popular time of year for diets, when consumers, particularly the targeted demographic of women, may turn to light versions of their favorite foods. But these consumers are also often concerned about artificial ingredients.
Greek yogurt has been a powerhouse category over the past few years, not just in the yogurt segment, but also in breakfast foods in general. As of May 2014, Greek yogurt made up nearly half of the U.S. yogurt business, and that number has continued to rise.
Chobani told Ad Age it currently controls more than one-third of the U.S. Greek yogurt market. In 2015, the category grew 9.2% as compared to total refrigerated yogurt growth at 5.4% in the four weeks ended Nov. 28, 2015, according to Chobani, citing Nielsen data.
But Greek yogurt has grown at the expense of categories like cold cereal, which has seen lagging sales over the years, leaving companies like Kellogg to scramble for new approaches to lure consumers back to cereal.