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Sonnendal Yotopia

Behind Sonnendal’s splashy new dairy presence

With their quirky design and superior contents, new yoghurt and fruit juice ranges launched recently by Sonnendal Diaries have added new zip to our dairy shelves – and they taste as good as they look, as Emma Rowberry of PACKAGiNG & Print Media magazine discovered on visiting this dynamic dairy.

SONNENDAL Dairies, based in Athlone, Cape Town, has been around for some time – 15 years in fact – but little is known about this innovative independent dairy. However, that said, consumers are no doubt familiar with Sonnendal’s dairy and fruit juice products, encased in Pick n Pay’s own-label packaging.

It was 12 years ago that Sonnendal noticed a gap in the market where big dairies were ignoring house brands. The door was open to Sonnendal and a decision was made to focus on developing Pick n Pay’s own brand fresh milk, yoghurt and the launch of its 100% nectar fruit juice.

Since then, the team at Sonnendal has worked hard to develop this range, putting its efforts into the brand’s phenomenal growth and success. Sonnendal now supplies Pick n Pay’s yoghurt multipacks and drinking yoghurts nationally and its full dairy range in the Eastern and Western Cape.

Sonnendal is no stranger to innovation, as seen by the conceptualisation and launch of the oval yoghurt tub, developed in partnership with Dairypack, a division of Polyoak Packaging, and eye-catchingly designed by Berge Farrell.

Riding the wave of the Pick n Pay brand’s success, Sonnendal recently launched its own brand and extensive range of yoghurts, milk and fruit juices.

‘We needed to develop our own brand to remain competitive and to stake our claim in the developments of the burgeoning dairy market,’ explains Sonnedal’s MD, Martin Swanepoel. ‘By launching our own brand we’re also able to get new products to the market faster,’ he adds.

There’s a palpable ‘buzz’ at Sonnendal that permeates through the plant, its people and its products. In fact, the new launches epitomise the authenticity of the company – they come from the heart. These new products, with their quirky heart-design theme and light-hearted on-pack copy, are sure to attract consumers’ attention and capture their hearts when they taste the sublime flavour combinations and see the delicious design work by Urban Lab (previously Liquid Lab).

Move to ffs and IML

But it’s not just innovation in product development that sets Sonnendal apart as a trailblazer in the dairy market. Besides the launch of the oval yoghurt tub, this independent dairy also claims to be the first to produce form-fill-sealed yoghurt multipacks with in-mould labelling in South Africa.

To cope with current demand for Pick n Pay’s house brand and for the launch of its own ranges, Sonnendal installed three new six-cup yoghurt fillers, supplied by Marefa. In addition to this new equipment, Sonnendal has also developed its own in-line dosing equipment.

‘This in-house design is something we’re really proud of,’ notes Malcolm Jeffery, Sonnendal’s operations director.

‘We have 17 in-line dosers in the factory, enabling us to mix fruit blends with the base product immediately before filling takes place, saving time and space, as we’re dealing with a multitude of flavours being filled simultaneously for our multipack ranges,’ adds Adrian Labuschagne, general manager: operations.

‘When it comes to flavour change over, only the dosing and filling units need to be cleaned, rather than the entire line to the filling machines,’ Adrian continues.

With all its equipment and logistics in place, Sonnendal was set to launch its new products that have been created in collaboration with Jo Pellisier of Urban Lab.

Here Kim Rice, Sonnendal’s marketing manager, picks up the story: ‘In addition to our existing 46 value lines, we’re now taking the Sonnendal brand into the future with our premium range of elegantly packaged products.’

Sonnendal TootilliFor its new value range, Sonnendal created Tootilli Frooti yoghurt tubs, Sonnendal and Yogüd yoghurt multipacks, Flava milk, Yo! drinking yoghurt, Froot Nectar and its range of white milk.

In the premium market, Sonnendal’s Yotopia range comes in distinctive and elegant black packaging with a heart theme bringing it all together. The range includes:

Fresh cream, packaged in a black oval tub from Dairypack, and its lidding from Aluminium Foil Converters;

Buttermilk – in keeping the slow food trend – packaged in HDPE bottles from Dairypack, with caps from African Closures and full shrink sleeves from First Impression Labels;

Low-fat yoghurt, in both smooth and fruited blends, packed in multipacks from Dairypack with lidding from Aluminium Foil Converters; and

A beverage range, Quencha, in PET bottles from Polypet sporting full shrink-sleeve labels from First Impression Labels and sealed with caps from African Closures.

Sonnendal MilkMilk in this range features wraparound labels from ACF Labels: DLC Pack that are so beautiful consumers will no longer need a milk jug for the table!

Sonnendal’s catch phrase is “”, which this brand captures to perfection. It’s healthy – all Yotopia products are low-fat but created to capture the velvety dessert-like texture of a full-fat product; it’s funny – witty on-pack copy promotes the fun of the brand; and it’s lovely – from the tapered multipack cups, specifically designed by Dairypack for stacking on Marefa’s six-cup filler, to its elegant design and delicious contents.

Be sure not to pass by this range when it catches your eye on the retail shelves!

Polyoak Packaging

First published in PACKAGiNG & Print Media, October 2011.

As good on the inside as on the outside

Just before 2011 drew to a close, Sonnendal Dairies kicked into high gear and launched their exciting new yoghurt range, Yotopia. Using a clever word play on ‘Utopia’, Sonnendal have indeed done the concept justice, both on the outside and on the inside of the tub.

Afriplex, together with Nuberry, played an instrumental role in developing these new products. The development team focused on matching various fashionable super-fruits shown to have nutraceutical value. They achieved this using combinations of Afriplex’s flavours and extracts of Goji berry, Rooibos, pomegranate, acai & white tea; Honey Bush, Green Fig, Vanilla and Hoodia, resulting in a creative and very tasty – yet functional – end product.

“Afriplex worked with our development team to help us create a range that offered numerous health benefits, from the appetite-suppressant properties of hoodia, to the antioxidant properties of white tea. By combining the science of Afriplex’s exciting fruits with super-food properties with our sublime Yotopia yoghurt base, we can offer the market a product that not only tastes superb, but that is also extremely functional,” explains marketing manager, Kim Rice, and adding that this is just the start for Sonnendal and their supply partnership with Afriplex.





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