Yellofruit heats up frozen dessert space

The brand is entering Loblaws banners with its dairy-free product and aims to stand out.

yellofruit-CEO
Yellofruit is tickled pink by its expansion.

The frozen dessert, made with a banana base instead of cream, milk or other dairy ingredients, will be in Loblaw stores Canada Day weekend.

The long weekend will be the brand’s coming out party, according to Andrew Kinnear, president and CEO of Yellofruit, who says it will be rolling out to 350 discount and market banner Loblaw stores. The brand will support the expansion with in-store demos beginning June 29, and will also be promoted in Loblaw flyers.

The challenge for any CPG brand, Kinnear says, is for “someone to see it, try it, love it, rebuy it, and tell a friend.”

One of the toughest obstacles the company faces, he says, is the seemingly overwhelming amount of choice in the frozen section, and the fact that, as a start-up, budget constraints limit the amount of demos it can do to overcome its awareness challenge.

According to Kinnear, the brand has marketed mostly through social media, as well as coupon apps Checkout 51 and Caddle. Yellofruit is also hosting a booth at Roxodus, a Muskoka concert festival featuring the likes of Aerosmith and Alice Cooper, to bring more mass exposure to the brand during the summer.

Outreach at street level is one thing, it’s quite another to catch the attention of shoppers when they are in the aisles.

yellow-fruit-frozen

Kinnear says a lot of thought went into how the brand looks at shelf, even before the brand had settled on a formula, tinkering with ingredients and recipes at the University of Guelph Food Innovation Centre (the brand offers mango, chocolate and strawberry flavours, and the company claims using banana as its base is a tastier alternative to the nut, soy and coconut-based products currently on the market for consumer looking for non-dairy treats).

He says that Yellofruit, despite being associated with bananas and the colour yellow by virtue of its name, opted to avoid the hue in its packaging so as not to create brand confusion with No Name products.

“We noodled a bunch of different designs and landed on solid colour, but with some subtleties for each flavor,” Kinnear says.

Another important factor that’s helped grow the brand is label simplicity. According to Kinnear, about 80% of its demographic is comprised of parents on the lookout for healthier dessert options. He says that with a small package size (500ml), the design challenge was to keep its clean, simple brand feel, while also conveying its natural ingredients and that is it made in a peanut-free facility.

He says there are a lot of eyeballs on the plant-based category because consumers want environmentally friendly products, as well as ones that are better for their family’s health.

The main brand advocates, he says, are people buying the frozen dessert brand because they have limited options in the grocery store, either because of allergies or lactose intolerance, or they have a philosophical approach to consumption, such as being kosher or vegan. However, Kinnear says, the brand doesn’t promote itself as vegan, so that “everyone can enjoy it no matter who they are.”