Oikos wants you to cook with yogurt

The Danone brand's live-streamed cooking series aims to get consumers to think of Greek yogurt during more meal occasions.

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Danone is looking to capitalize on the surges in popularity for both yogurt and at-home culinary experiments by showing news kinds of recipes its Oikos brand can help create.

Jeremy Oxley, VP of marketing strategy and insights at Danone Canada, says there has been an uptick in cooking at home since the beginning of the pandemic, with people “reconnecting” with food and trying new recipes. The company saw this as an opportunity to further grow the market share for its Oikos Greek yogurt brand by connecting it with meal occasions outside of snacking or breakfast, where it typically plays.

Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 11.46.11 AMOikos partnered with three chefs to support the culinary and grocery communities, and entice Canadians to once again find the joys of cooking at home with nutritious ingredients. The online cooking classes were live-streamed every Monday on Instagram, featuring Jérémie Falissard of Barocco in Montreal; Ivana Raca of Ufficio in Toronto; and Robin Filteau-Boucher of Gypsy Kitchen+Bar in Montreal. The three chefs make Mediterranean-inspired meals using Oikos, like yogurt-marinated lamb with flatbread.

“This became a nice way for us to develop and share content, ideas, and show the versatility of Oikos through a slightly different occasion,” Oxley says, adding that the convenience of yogurt has previously driven demand for the brand. “Using chefs to help people learn and understand how to use a versatile ingredient in a different way became a natural [fit] for us.”

Another goal for Oikos is turning a surge in demand for dairy into long-term brand affinity. Keeping up with demand during the pandemic was an initial challenge for Danone, Oxley says, especially for “trusted” brands like Oikos and Activia. Oikos, in particular, has continued to be popular due to how it fits with consumer health concerns, being high in protein and low in sugar, Oxley says. For example, Oikos’ “Plain 2%” yogurt contains two grams of fat, but 10 grams of protein – compared to a generic, plain, whole milk 100 gram serving of yogurt, which has approximately 3.5 grams of protein and 3.3 grams of fat.

In addition to sharing recipes via these online classes, Oikos and Danone Canada have donated 300 takeout meals to grocery store workers in Montreal and Toronto, inspired by the recipes in the content series.