Strauss Moves Into Kiddie Yogurt

The Strauss food company will make a foray into children's yogurt products under the Danone brand name. Knowledgeable sources say that the new products will be marketed in cups similar to the regular Danone brand yogurt, but will include drinking straws. The products will contain fruit, but not fruit pieces to enable them to be sipped through a straw.

Strauss is considering creating an entirely new subcategory for its children's yogurt, to be called Danone Kids. The new product line has no competitors - other similar products on the market such as Gamadim and Milky are pudding-like dairy desserts rather than cultured milk products.

About five years ago Tnuva attempted to introduce yogurts aimed at older children, aged 8-12, under the brand name Yop, but the launch failed and the products were taken off the market. Now Strauss will be moving carefully, trying to avoid Tnuva's mistakes.

Yogurt with fruit or other additions are a NIS 495 million market, with Tnuva commanding about 40% of the market's revenues with its Yoplait brand, and another 6% with its Prili. Strauss is the second largest player, commanding 32.8% of the market, mainly attributable to the Danone brand. The third largest company is Tara, with a 20.7% slice of the market, primarily from its Muller brand.

Strauss will also be launching a series of children's desserts within the next few weeks, in a limited summer edition in three flavors - punch-banana, vanilla with strawberry syrup, and chocolate with sprinkles.