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General Mills Launches Yoplait Yogurt in China

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General Mills Launches Yoplait Yogurt in China

General Mills Launches Yoplait Yogurt in China
June 12
10:04 2015

US-based food group General Mills has launched its Yoplait yogurt brand in China. Three new yogurt lines will be rolling out in hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores in Shanghai, giving consumers new options in China’s premium yogurt market: Perle de lait, a thick and creamy French-style yogurt, Panier de fruits, the first fruit on the bottom yogurt in the category, and O’Fruit, a drinkable yogurt with big fruit pieces that requires an extra-large straw to drink.

“Our entry into China with Yoplait is a major milestone in General Mills history,” says Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive of General Mills. “We’re excited about the prospects for growth across our global yogurt business. Yogurt has been one of the hottest food categories in the world over the past decade. We like our positions in key developed markets, and we see plenty of room for future growth as category consumption continues to develop in emerging yogurt markets.”

According to Euromonitor, yogurt is a $10 billion dollar category in China, with sales growing at a double-digit pace. General Mills is focusing Yoplait’s initial launch in Shanghai and plans to grow the brand through a city-by-city approach before expanding geographically.

“With the tremendous economic growth in China, consumers are increasingly demanding better quality and experience of foods,” says Gary Chu, senior vice president and president of General Mills Greater China. “Chinese consumers like the health benefits of yogurt and we are thrilled to add our world-class Yoplait products to our growing portfolio of brands and products that Chinese consumers have come to love and trust.”

Yoplait’s launch is China is the largest expansion of the Yoplait International brand since General Mills assumed a 51% controlling interest in Yoplait SAS in 2011. Sodiaal, the leading French dairy co-operative, continues to hold the remaining ownership stake.

Yoplait’s entry into China is a significant step forward in building the global Yoplait brand. With nearly $4 billion in retail sales worldwide and available in more than 50 markets, Yoplait is the strong No. 2 player in the $83 billion global yogurt category.

The move also represents a significant step forward for General Mills China business, which has grown at a 15% compound rate over the past four years with nearly $700 million in annual sales. Häagen-Dazs makes up more than half of the company’s Chinese business, with Wanchai Ferry dim sum accounting for about a third and its snacks portfolio making up the rest.

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