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General Mills, Inc: Yoplait Custard Style Yogurt Case Write-up

Group 1 : Hum Paanch

Yoplait has come up with new product, Custard style yogurt and the case talks about marketing issues that needed resolution
such as positioning, pricing and final product specification. There are three options available: A simulated test market, a
mini market and a regular test market.
Yogurt market was becoming highly competitive with each brand having different strategy to position their yogurt. Dannon
strategy was to offer nutrition; breyers was superior tasting natural yogurt etc. So the new custard style yogurt had to be a
unique positioning.
Issues to be
No growth Market

Important Aspects
A Gallup national survey showed that little or no growth was anticipated in the near term in
the yogurt market.
30 focus group study revealed that yogurt was shifting from meal to snack category and
hence yogurt was now competing with other snacks
Product positioning: texture or taste as selling point?
New yogurt to be positioned as a meal substitute or a snack or a desert?
Can custard style be a possible basis for positioning through advertising?
Packaging: 4 oz or 6 oz?
Product name: Linking the name to Yoplait or Totally unrelated name to differentiate?
Low fat or high fat or full fat?

Change of Usage
Marketing issues of
new Custard Style

Narrowing down the options : Concept Fulfillment Test and Creative Group Interviews : Based on the marketing
issues mentioned above Concept fulfillment test was done which resulted that the winning formula was Snack Positioning,
Full fat, Vercon Cup, 6 oz size which would result in 36% incremental sales volume. Creative group interviews indicated
that custard style yogurt sounded fewer yogurts and hence more deserts oriented.
So the net question now remains is because of the lack of time and resources which of the following tests to be conducted
before hitting the market with the product. The options available were:
Options Available

A full Scale Test

Mini Market Test

Key points to be noted

Less expensive
forecasts sales volume rather than market share hence suitable for test products,
dynamic model which was showing relatively accurate results
Greater credibility of the results because results would replicate actual roll out conditions
High cost of around $1700000 and would take one year to have any meaningful data
Competitors might know of the plan and can retaliate back.
Would give a good measure of cannibalization of existing product
Less costly around $200000.
Drawbacks are that the distribution is forced and has regional biases.


From the Concept fulfillment test it is clear that the snack positioning, vercon cup, 6 oz seems to be a convincing winner
in terms of delivered margins. However since the yogurt market is becoming stagnant and needs to be repositioned into
different category I believe that desert positioning is an equally good idea which is also supported by creative group
interviews. Also desert positioning brings in non yogurt users.
In terms of testing, the most logical seems to be BASES test as it would give a fair idea of how the product is doing.
Since the company has a tight budget full scale test is out of question. Also BASES test is less expensive and takes the
least time. Already two years have been spent on various previous tests; hence hitting the market is now important. Also
BASES test have been proven to show encouraging results previously. A mini market test though less expensive is not

dynamic as it considers only a controlled market where Yoplait is already dominant and hence would not give a national