TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Dannon Co., based here, has just raised the ante in the yogurt category with a product that is both "indulgent" and low-fat.
s last month.
The three new flavors include Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Chocolate Cheesecake and Chocolate Eclair, with the flavored yogurt and chocolate topping separated in the signature dual-compartment packages of the Double Delights line.
A 6-ounce container has 1 gram of total fat and between 210 and 220 calories, with a suggested retail price between 79 and 89 cents each, depending on the market.
Shipments of the new flavors to retailers nationwide began the week of Aug. 5, and the company is emphatically confident that they will be very well received.
"If you look at sales of Dannon Double Delights in 1995, 50% came from increased yogurt sales, 15% came from people who did not buy yogurt before and 35% came from those who increased their yogurt purchases," said Dannon spokeswoman Anna Moses, quoting Information Resources Inc. figures.
"So what Double Delights did was expand the category overall," she added.
"With that in mind we're going nationwide, we're pretty confident about this one."
Following the debut of Snackwells' line of chocolate-flavored yogurts earlier this year, and the perception by market observers that consumer demand for "indulgent" yogurt products is going to remain strong, this latest debut indicates Dannon's intent to support the trend.
Officially, Moses said that the product "is not necessarily intended to compete with Snackwells.
"We really think our yogurt is a completely different product, with its dual-compartment structure and separate topping, it's totally different from what Snackwells has.
"We know that chocolate is certainly a popular flavor, and with the success of the original flavors, this is just the next step -- we're going to give consumers what they want."
The line was introduced in 1995, and was recently followed with Dannon Light Duets, fat-free versions of each of the original six flavors.
Part of the success of indulgent yogurts is that consumers don't just consider them to be part of a meal, Moses noted.
"This product is not necessarily just a dessert, people use it as a snack, something to hold them between meals," she said. "They want indulgence without the fat."
Dannon will be supporting the new flavors with national television campaigns, as well as couponing, product sampling and point-of-purchase programs for retailers, which, according to Moses, will begin this fall.