Dannon and Kellogg are launching products that aim to expand consumption of their core food categories into nontraditional dayparts.
In July, the Dannon Company is launching Dannon Creamery, a new line of eight dairy desserts that includes five "cheesecake-inspired" flavors made from Greek yogurt and sauces (strawberry, blueberry, cherry, lemon and caramel) and three puddings (milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla).
Dannon is stressing that Creamery is not only a new brand -- its first since launching its Oikos Greek yogurt -- but a new category within dairy, as opposed to another line extension battling for sales with the large and growing number of offerings within the Greek and overall yogurt category. (A distinction in part apparently aimed at arch-rival Chobani, which announced its summer launch of a new dessert line, Chobani Indulgent, back in April, along with other new products.)
Dannon says its core objective is to increase dairy sales incrementally by getting U.S. consumers to eat yogurt during the evening. "Expanding into the dessert market and evening daypart is a necessary next step to continue to grow the dairy category,” said Dannon Company CMO Sergio Fuster.
In the U.S., more than 70% of yogurt consumption is before 4 p.m., Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations for Dannon, elaborated to FoodNavigator. Dannon aims to fill that "huge swath of the day where Americans aren't enjoying yogurt" with Creamery, he said.
Dannon said that its R&D team spent months researching, developing and testing recipes to create desserts tailored to "the discerning expectations" of Americans. And at roughly 200 calories per 5.3-ounce pot, the Creamery products are being marketed as a "smart option for indulgence."
The packages, designed to evoke the feeling of a dessert bowl, have a suggested retail price of $1.69.
Meanwhile, Kellogg's' latest strategy for boosting sales of cold cereals is offering them in single-serve pouches to encourage consuming them as snacks at any time of the day.
Kellogg is debuting the pouches with four brands -- Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops and Krave -- reports USA Today.
The move is logical for several reasons, starting with the reality that sales of snack products continue to soar (in part due to Americans' growing tendency to consume snacks as meals), while cereal, although still the most-consumed breakfast food, has seen its volumes decline or stagnate since 2000. Between 2008 and 2013, U.S. retail sales of cold cereals barely budged, rising from $10.3 billion to $10.4 billion, estimates market research firm Packaged Facts. The reasons include the plethora of new breakfast foods available -- including the rapidly expanding offerings within the booming Greek yogurt category.
Furthermore, about 20% to 25% of cereal consumption already occurs outside of the breakfast day part, according to various estimates -- and Kellogg's' research showed that many consumers were pouring cereal into plastic bags for on-the-go snacking purposes, Noel Geoffroy, SVP of marketing for U.S. Morning Foods at Kellogg, told USA Today. "As consumers' lives evolve, there are more ways that we can make our food -- and our packaging -- more relevant to them," she said.
Kellogg is also now using the packaging for some of its brands to suggest eating cereal in the evening hours: Some boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats, Special K and other brands bear dark backgrounds with images of the moon and stars.
Kellogg is not alone in pushing to find ways to encourage "off-breakfast" cereal eating. General Mills's Big G Cereals, recognizing that sales of sweetened cereals are outperforming the overall category, in part because adults are eating them outside of breakfast, is using unconventional marketing approaches reflecting this insight, points out The Wall Street Journal.
For instance, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is using event tie-ins and social media to connect with video game players (a group found to enjoy snacking on the cereal while playing games in the evening), and Lucky Charms is airing a TV ad that shows two young adults eating the cereal — one while walking around the house.