Industry News | September 23, 2010

TCBY, a Friendly Neighborhood ... Breakfast Joint?

With the opening of its second corporate store at Fashion Place Mall in Salt Lake City, TCBY started testing a prepared daily Yovana-Simply Yogurt product in its new, sleek, modern self-serve environment with the goal of breaking into the breakfast and lunch meal replacement segments. Working in TCBY’s favor is the remarkable growth of the refrigerated yogurt segment, which owns an 86 percent market share of overall yogurt sales. What’s driving the growth is exactly what makes Yovana-Simply Yogurt so ideally timed—premium, probiotic-rich yogurt served as a parfait, bowl, or smoothie and mixed with fresh-cut fruits, granolas, and nuts.

While it is understood that supermarkets dominate yogurt sales, other segments like big box, specialty food stores, and now retailers are gaining consumer adoption because of the pure functional nature of yogurt on the body.

While interest in prebiotic and probiotic yogurt is on the rise because consumers, especially women, are expecting more out of their yogurt than just a low-fat snack, most admit they still don’t understand what probiotics are and what the claims actually mean. Nevertheless, 85 percent are convinced they work. That not only translates to high adult consumption (52 percent) but also even higher teen consumption (59 percent) and among 6–11 year olds (54 percent). On top of one of the highest concentrations of prebiotics and probiatics, Yovana-Simply Yogurt also provides a healthy dose of vitamins A and D and twice the amount of calcium, protein and fiber as most store-bought yogurt.

“Yovana is not something new to the TCBY portfolio, yet it is a product that has had limited marketing exposure. Nonetheless, consumer affinity for Yovana is extremely high,” says Tim Casey, CEO of TCBY. “The great thing about refrigerated yogurt is that we are seeing it cross multiple demographics. The advantage we see over grocery is that we can deliver theatre, particularly in our new self-serve stores. When you purchase yogurt in a supermarket, it’s very pedestrian … simply a part of the shopping process. We can make it an experience inside our four walls and we can close the educational divide that currently exists.”