Yoplait is taking advantage of rising interest in protein-loaded products with its latest product launch in a bid to compete with Greek yogurt giants like Chobani.
The General Mills brand’s new line, Yoplait Protein, contains 15 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar per serving, sold in single-serve cups and tubs. The better-for-you line features a variety of flavors: Vanilla, Strawberry, Mixed Berry, Strawberry Banana, Peach, Cherry, Strawberry Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie.
The brand is targeting consumers who prefer the texture of original Yoplait, as opposed to the “slightly sour, chalky taste” of other protein-packed yogurt options, the press release said.
“Consumers are having to make tradeoffs, opting for products they don’t enjoy the taste of – like Greek yogurt – just to get in the extra protein, so we decided to do something about the lack of options in the category,” Kaylee Pohlmeyer, the senior brand manager at General Mills, said in a statement.
Yoplait Protein is the brand’s first innovation in years. But its competition with Chobani dates back to the late 2000’s, when the Greek yogurt brand gained wide popularity among consumers seeking a healthier alternative to traditional yogurt. The new Yoplait line is a bid by General Mills to challenge Chobani and other yogurt brands that are seen as healthier.
Chobani saw a sales spike after the start of the pandemic, with an increase of 3.2% percentage points in its sales growth between 2021 and 2022, according to Statista data. According to a financial estimate shared by Forbes, Chobani alone could take up over half of the entire U.S. yogurt market by 2026 which would make it the largest market share of a single brand in the category ever — the previous highest was Yoplait, which controlled 25% of the market in 2011.
Chobani for its part is working to add variety to its product portfolio. In December, it launched Chobani Creations, a “sophisticated yogurt” line aimed at adults looking for an indulgent sweet alternative, in flavors like Cherry Cheesecake and Apple Pie a la Mode.