Kraft Drops Athenos Greek Yogurt Line
After little more than a year in the market, Kraft Foods has discontinued its Athenos Greek yogurt line.
Kraft launched the Greek yogurt in late 2010, making it an extension of its Athenos brand, which makes hummus, feta cheese, pita chips and other Mediterranean-style foods.
A Kraft spokesperson told Fox News that the company decided to discontinue the Greek yogurt line in order to focus on other food innovations under the Athenos brand -- also saying that the decision was unrelated to Kraft's pruning of its food lines in preparation for splitting into two companies later this year. (The Athenos brand will be part of the North American grocery company to be called Kraft Foods.)
Kraft put considerable marketing muscle behind Athenos Greek -- notably, the humorous and well-received (high Ace Scores) "Yiaayia" TV campaign, featuring a Greek grandmorther who disapproved of almost everything but the the Greek yogurt brand.
But after reaching about a 2% market share last summer, its share has declined, per SymphonyIRI data quoted by Fox.
Agro Farma's Chobani, launched in 2005, owns about 60% of the Greek yogurt market, with about $700 million in sales, and Fage and Dannon's Oikos are battling for the #2 position.
General Mills's Yoplait Greek also has been pushing to make up for a late entry in the Greek yogurt market, which grew by triple digits between 2008 and 2010 and grew another 64% last year. Greek now accounts for over 20% of the total, $7-billion-plus U.S. spoonable yogurt market.
Correction: The item originally stated that Athenos will be part of Mondelez International; it is to be part of Kraft Foods.