Danone adds two plant-based food SKUs

The company has launched new dessert and yogurt alternatives, placing them inside dedicated freezers in the natural food aisle.

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Danone Canada is flexing its plant-based muscles with two new products: So Delicious Frozen Mousse and Silk Cultured Almond Yogurt Alternative.

The company invested heavily in the plant-based category back in 2017 with the acquisition of CPG co. WhiteWave Foods, adding products like Silk, nutrition brand Vega, yogurt and dessert brand So Delicious and creamer and coffee maker International Delight to its portfolio. Dairy and plant-based sales now generate more than half of Danone’s global business.

Silk Cultured Almond Yogurt Alternative and So Delicious Frozen Mousse continue to build on the brand’s portfolio of plant-based beverages and yogurt alternatives, with Genevieve Bolduc, Danone Canada’s marketing director describing the mousse as a “new niche in the vegan category.”

Consumers often struggle to find So Delicious products in stores, says Bolduc, and so the company decided to place the new mousse in dedicated freezers within natural food aisles, which is typically limited in space. It’s also addressing awareness concerns through unique packaging: it’s using black instead of white for the So Delicious mousse packaging, says Bolduc, noting that the colour scheme is a dramatic play for the indulgence space, which also helps it stand out on shelf.

She says that with its fleet of freezers and increased visibility and coupons, the brand has prioritized in-store marketing for the new products.

Both the mouse and yogurt were unveiled on August 10 at Toronto’s Vegandale Food and Drink Festival, where the brand was an event sponsor, along with Magnum, Ben & Jerry’s, Yves Veggie Cuisine and others. The festival describes itself as “a mecca for the ethically minded and hungry” and a “premiere destination for the vegan and vegan curious,” drawing thousands of spectators.

While the Vegandale sampling execution allowed the brand to speak primarily to vegan consumers, a similar sampling program was also rolled out during Montreal’s Osheaga Music Festival, where Danone was able to reach a broader, more flexitarian audience. (Other Danone brands have also tapped into the summer music scene, partnering with Osheaga in 2018 for an Oikos Instagram contest to win festival passes.)

Jeremy Oxley, VP marketing, insights and strategy for Danone Canada, says the brand has been pivoting away from TV and investing heavily in using Instagram influencers. So, for Vegandale, Instagrammers were a key part of the outreach, helping to create social media-friendly experiences with a photo activation tied to the phrase #MySoDeliciousMoment and #SilkCanada. For example, @icingandglitter touted a low-in-sugar healthy sundae that she made using the vanilla almond yogurt, which plays into the brand’s roots championing the functional benefits of its yogurt line.

The new Silk and So Delicious products are available at grocery, big-box and specialty food retailers across Canada. Timecode Lab handled experiential marketing, Carl led the social strategy and creative, and National managed its PR efforts.

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