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Monday, April 1, 2013

Greek Yogurt Craze Ups the Advertising Ante

For years, the yogurt industry has made a splash with its advertising. 

In the 1970s, Dannon ran its famous “In Soviet Georgia” commercials, sometimes credited with revolutionizing yogurt sales in the U.S.  In the commercials, an announcer would explain some variation of the following:  “In Soviet Georgia, there are two curious things about the people.  A large part of their diet is yogurt, and a large number of them live past 100.”  (One example from the campaign can be viewed here:

Next came Yoplait’s introduction into the United States in the late 1970s, calling itself The Yogurt of France. 

The two brands have fought for yogurt supremacy in the U.S. – and worldwide – ever since.

And without much of a challenge from anyone else.

Until late 2007. 

That was when an upstart Greek yogurt brand Chobani first began appearing in stores.  At that time, Greek yogurt barely had a presence in the market.

Fast forward to the evening of February 5, 2012.  With a Greek yogurt craze in full swing in the U.S., Dannon decided that it had better signal its reaction on the biggest stage possible:  The Super Bowl telecast.  It launched “The Tease,” a commercial starring John Stamos that is said to be the first yogurt commercial to air during the Super Bowl telecast.

And for the last year, while the market for Greek yogurt has continued to grow, reaching 35% of the overall yogurt market by the end of 2012, a period of frantic competition for share of voice and share of wallet has ensued.

Packaged Facts new report The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation: Greek Yogurt and Beyond examines this and other trends in the U.S. and global yogurt markets.

--George Puro

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