Yogurt on toast? Consumers are getting more creative with use occasions, Onken says

Onken, part of the Emmi Group, wants Brits to take greater notice of its portfolio of natural, flavored, low-fat and on-the-go pouches as the brand deploys the services of TV presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness in a year-long, multi-platform campaign. McGuinness, a household name in the UK, is tasked to drive home the slogan ‘Make time to feed your inner happiness’ as Onken bets on a tried and tested formula in yogurt advertising, where consumption is linked with improved health and wellbeing. We spoke to head of Onken, Mathilde van Roon, to find out what drove the campaign’s launch and how consumer preferences are shaping yogurt NPD.

“Our campaign strategy at Onken revolves around promoting making time for yourself and ‘Feeding Your Inner Happiness’,” she opened. “As a brand, we want to inject a sense of fun into yogurt consumption and establish ourselves in the market as advocates for celebrating and fulfilling your inner joy through Onken products, specifically tailored to our consumers’ preferences.”

While the ‘good for you’ message is often reinforced by yogurt brands through advertising, Van Roon suggested that adding a comedic voice could help get through to the consumer more effectively. “It’s our goal to bring our fun tone of voice to the category and importantly, to remind consumers that yogurt is and can be fun and enjoyable, too,” she explained.

In the UK, Onken competes with a raft of branded and own-label supermarket products, and differentiating is key as consumers continue to face pricing pressures. According to Nielsen retail sales data published by AHDB, the average prices of yogurt and fromage frais products increased 10.5% year on year in February, but demand also grew as volume sales increased 1.8%. And it’s clear what shoppers are after – volume sales of healthy yogurt grew 21% during the period, and almost all dairy yogurt categories – flavored, fat-free, plain and split-pot – recorded growth despite the price increases. Meanwhile, plant-based alternatives slid more than 7%.