YoCrunch cereal bowl

US: Kellogg responds to the rise of yoghurt: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

Cereal makers have been losing the battle for the breakfast table to other offerings, notably yoghurt. So Kellogg has struck a deal with Danone to bring its cereal across enemy lines – to the yoghurt aisle. [Click pic to enlarge]

Danone’s YoCrunch brand is known for mix-ins on top of its yoghurt cups, which include granola, Oreos and M&M’s. The deal with Kellogg to do the same with Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops in YoCrunch Cereal Bowls that recently hit US shelves is the first for breakfast cereal, executives said, and a sign of the times for the morning meal.

Average US cereal consumption has fallen in recent years. Kellogg CEO John Bryant said in a recent interview that people simply want more protein and greater convenience when it comes to breakfast. Other companies, like Greek yoghurt makers, have capitalised on that, he said.

Asked if cereal makers would take on Greek yoghurt by advertising the health benefits of cereal and milk, Bryant said: “Rather than think about cereal going up against yoghurt, it’s also worth remembering that cereal is actually a complement to yoghurt, in that a lot of people add cereal to their yoghurt.”

Of course, consumers have been mixing cereal into their yoghurt on their own for years. YoCrunch claims that about 40% of people who eat yoghurt put cereal in it.

Which raises the question: What took the packaged-food companies so long? After all, Kellogg rival General Mills owns both Dannon rival Yoplait and well-known cereals like Cheerios, Wheaties and Lucky Charms but doesn’t cross-brand them yet. (A spokeswoman points out that it does sell Yoplait Greek with Nature Valley granola toppings).

“There are a lot of people who could’ve gone out and done this, but no one has yet,” said Steve Platt chief marketing officer for YoCrunch, which Dannon parent Danone bought last year. “Once you see it, it hits you that it makes sense.”

The YoCrunch Cereal Bowl unites cereal favourites such as Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Special K in an innovative dome-shaped top with YoCrunch’s yoghurt, making it easy for consumers to combine and shake up the two breakfast items for a tasty blended mixture.

“The packaging for YoCrunch Cereal bowls is all about convenience and is something completely new for consumers. On their own many Americans are combining cereal with yoghurt, and we’ve simplified that greatly with the YoCrunch Cereal Bowl,” says Elliot Shifrin, senior brand manager for YoCrunch.

“We believe it is the most significant innovation in the yoghurt category since the introduction of Greek yoghurt. The product has the largest dome in the yoghurt aisle, creating an end product that has equal parts cereal and yoghurt. In addition, consumers ‘shake’ the two components together versus the traditional pour and stir in.”

Motivating this innovation, he adds, is that with yoghurt category growth, YoCrunch is committed to finding new ways for Americans to enjoy the benefits and versatility of yoghurt.

“The YoCrunch Cereal Bowl’s large dome provides consumers the best way to achieve a perfectly blended yoghurt and cereal flavour combination. As two thirds of Americans are currently mixing in a topping or other ingredients to their yoghurt, this packaging makes it even more convenient for consumers to enjoy the yoghurt and cereal combination,” he says.

The design of the cup and the bowl are both custom. The cup is made from PP and is thermoformed, while the dome is also PP and injection molded. Both the cup and dome are sleeved to deliver the premium look warranted by the respective YoCrunch and Kellogg’s brands.

Notes Shifrin: “YoCrunch was the first to pair creamy, vanilla and fruit-flavoured yoghurt with crunchy granola in a dual container and has been creating fun, wholesome yoghurt combinations for more than 25 years. We already had the technology in place to create the topper, and we expanded it to create the largest dome ever to hit the yoghurt aisle.”

Source: Packaging Digest, Wall St Journal