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Robby Gardner is a freelance journalist in Los Angeles, specializing in fresh produce and health food ingredients.
Originally Published NO April 2010
Yoplait has long been a purveyor of healthy snack products, focusing on to-go foods with added benefits. This January, the company made another move into the functional-foods arena, releasing its new line of YoPlus Pro+Active Nutrition Yogurt, largely targeted to women.
YoPlus Pro+Active Nutrition Yogurt is intended to provide the same creamy texture and signature taste of Yoplait yogurt, but with an added punch of nutrients.
The YoPlus line promises a boosted source of antioxidants (20% recommended daily values of vitamin A and E) and fiber (3 g in each 4-oz cup).
But there's more. One of the special features of the company's new yogurt line is a functional feature for promoting healthy bones, primarily in women. A single serving of YoPlus contains extra calcium and vitamin D, providing 15% and 10% of daily recommended values, respectively.
That should help satisfy the product's primary consumer target: older women ages 44 to 65. Citing a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2003 to 2004, Yoplait says that 80% of women don't get enough calcium to maintain strong bones.
YoPlus also seeks to meet the current demand for probiotics for digestive health. One cup of YoPlus provides three strains of pro-digestion cultures: L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12.
Yogurts are offered in both regular and light (fat-free) versions. YoPlus Light contributes 70 fewer calories than its regular counterpart. Flavors for the regular yogurt include strawberry, vanilla, cherry, peach, blackberry pomegranate, and blueberry acai. Light flavors include honey vanilla, strawberry banana, and key lime pie.
With its new launch, Yoplait brings female customers the functional-food benefits that they have come to expect, especially in foods particularly perceived as healthy, such as yogurt.
In Mintel's 2009 U.S. yogurt report, the market researcher stated that, "High calcium content and active yogurt cultures are very important to yogurt eaters, particularly women....With more enhanced and functional yogurt products hitting the market, consumers, especially women, are expecting more from their yogurt than just a low-fat snack."
With YoPlus, Yoplait seeks to give its customers exactly what they want-and need.