Delisle debuts `fromage frais’

Delisle Foods has launched a 'fromage frais' dairy product it hopes will expand the entire yogurt category as well as increase the number of yogurt-type items children consume.Fromage frais, or fresh cheese, is similar to yogurt except that it has a...

Delisle Foods has launched a ‘fromage frais’ dairy product it hopes will expand the entire yogurt category as well as increase the number of yogurt-type items children consume.

Fromage frais, or fresh cheese, is similar to yogurt except that it has a thicker consistency and no acidic taste.

Karen Smythe, marketing director for Delisle Foods, Canada’s leading yogurt manufacturer, says the company introduced Petit Danone to Canada after realizing there is almost no ‘fromage frais’ eaten in Canada.

Petit Danone is sold in packs of six 75 gram containers for a suggested price of $2.99. The fruit flavors of the 4.2% fat product are strawberry, grape, tropical fruit, raspberry, blueberry and watermelon.

Smythe says when Boucherville, Que.-based Delisle was searching for a category expander, the company looked at what other countries had in the dairy case and what Canada had not; the answer was fromage frais.

The target buyer for Petit Danone is women 18 to 49 with children aged under 12.

To support the launch of Petit Danone, Delisle is using two 30-second tv spots, a nutrition program for schools, sponsorship of children’s provincial soccer and baseball associations, sampling and discount coupons.

The tv spots, created by Young and Rubicam, break March 20 in Quebec and run for eight weeks in English and French. In Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, English-language tv spots break March 27 and run for six weeks.

There will also be some tv exposure in Western Canada, although exactly what hasn’t been determined yet.

As well, billboards will go up in Montreal in April.

Smythe says the sampling should last a couple of months in supermarkets across the country.

Delisle launched Petit Danone March 9 to coincide with the start of Nutrition Month in Canada, says Smythe. To accompany Nutrition Month, the company developed an educational program called The Quest for Calcium, being distributed free to primary schools in Que. and Ont.

Petit Danone is the first new product developed by Delisle since France’s Danone Group acquired the company in 1993.

Delisle owns 50% of the Quebec market for yogurt and similar products and has a 26% share nationally.