Evidence of this can seen in the NPD Group's recent Snacking in America report
where it found that fresh fruit and yogurt are the top snack food consumed in America, surpassing both chocolate and potato chips as the most popular snack. The extensive report shows that people are serious about their health and some companies are making changes to get into the healthy lifestyle. Coffee giant Starbucks is one of the companies.
On Tuesday, Starbucks
announced a partnership with French yogurt maker Danone, the makers of Dannon yogurt, to create an exclusive Greek yogurt parfait. The yogurt, to be named “Evolution Fresh inspired by Dannon” will be sold in U.S. Starbucks stores beginning in the spring of 2014 and will be available to grocery stores in 2015. Distribution of the yogurt will eventually expand to specific markets outside the United States but no details were provided at this time.
The agreement will also benefit Danone as it looks to widen its gap for control of the growing U.S. yogurt market. Currently, Danone controls 27.9 percent of the market
by stocking store shelves with Dannon, Stonyfield, and Activia yogurts. Danone introduced its Greek yogurt, Oikos, in 2011. General Mills is currently second in the yogurt market with its Yoplait brand and controls 24.7 percent.
Starbuck’s move into the Greek yogurt market, however, shouldn’t surprise many people as the Seattle-based company looks to improve its food selection and overall health image. The company plans on introducing new baked goods over the next year and recently introduced salads and sandwiches to its menu. According to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz
, stepping into the yogurt market is a part of a strategic plan to transform the coffee chain into a better-for-you brand. “Starbucks is committed to evolving and enhancing our customer experience with innovative and wholesome food offerings,” Schultz said.