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Nestlé LC1
Competitor Profile

Within the industry of yogurt, there are many players in the market. The most dominant brand name players inside the United States are Dannon, Stonyfield Farm, and Yoplait. Yoplait, of General Mills, is the number one yogurt in the United States. They own 37% of the market share through their different brands, including the Colombo brand. Stonyfield Farm owns 6% of the market share, and Dannon is right behind Yoplait taking 31% of the market share. Yoplait is the most prominent player within the market today. General Mills, Inc. has the leading yogurt company in the United States. Competing in a $2.9 billion industry, they contain the highest market share amongst their competitors.

General Mills, Inc. has become one of the world’s most trusted brands since their birth in 1860. General Mills simply began as a milling company, which began in the Mississippi River. They started with two flourmills and grew to become one of the largest, most trusted brands in the world. General Mills has become a prosperous and diverse company that has strived to provide innovative products to their customers continually throughout the years.

General Mills has six different strategic business units within their company. It consists of the Big G, Meals, Pillsbury, Baking Products, Snacks, and Yogurt. The Big G is the cereal division of General Mills; they hold big name brands such as Cheerios, Chex, and Total. The Meals division has products like Hamburger Helper, Progresso Soups, and Green Giant. The Pillsbury division was acquired by General mills and is the leading company within the refrigerated dough market. The Baking Products division is the home of Betty Crocker, Bisque, and Gold Medal products. The Snacks division, who holds the top market positions, has several brands from Fruit Roll-Ups to Nature Valley. Lastly, the yogurt division runs Yoplait, the number one yogurt within the industry and Colombo.

General Mills operates internationally mainly through

joint ventures, but also through acquisitions. Throughout the years General Mills has acquired Pillsbury, which is still in the works, and Green Giant. General Mills also has several joint ventures throughout the world. General Mills has a 50 –50 joint venture with Nestlé in the cereal division where their products are available in more than 130 countries throughout the world. General Mills also works with PepsiCo in a joint venture in the snack division. The successful joint ventures have allowed the companies to share their resources and capabilities to gain a lucrative competitive advantage. General Mills functions horizontally using the acquisitions, mergers, and alliance technique. This allows the company as a whole to gain more market power and coverage throughout the world.

General Mills is a related-linked company. Out of their six separate divisions, none of them produce more than 70% of the profits. Every division runs within the food industry, where the products are sold internationally and to foodservice operators, retailers and wholesalers.

General Mill’s profit has decreased, but Yoplait has carried the company through some rough times within the last year. Being one of the only divisions pulling through with a profit and over exceeding the company’s expectations Yoplait has really made a name of itself. Yoplait has become the star brand for General Mills, becoming the new core business for the company. In 2004, Yoplait’s unit volume grew 10%, which is five times more then the Big G division, who used to be General Mills core division. Over the past decade yogurt sales have increased on average 9% per year. But studies have shown that household penetration is very low, so there is a lot more room for growth.

Yoplait is a first-mover in the yogurt industry. They have offered many new innovative products to their consumers from Go-GURT to their Nouriche Smoothies. Within the last year of introducing Nouriche, the product’s sales have increased by 35%. Yoplait just recently began offering a yogurt that contained sterols, which is a cholesterol-lowering plant. Yoplait Healthy Heart was introduced in February of 2005 during women’s heart health month. Yoplait joined with Cergill, Inc. whom manufactures the plant sterols in a horizontal alliance. Yoplait healthy heart is the latest addition to their line of yogurts.

The full line of products that Yoplait offers today is wide and diverse. They offer a yogurt line that consists of the original yogurt, grande, whipped, light, and ultra light. Yumpsters is a line for younger children, which includes a spoon attached to their yogurt. Go-GURT has become the yogurt for those that are on the go and always in a rush, which is also available in smoothie form as well. Yoplait created the first ever yogurt placed in a tube. Lastly, they offer Nouriche Smoothies, which are rich in calcium, protein, and fiber. Their products come in many different flavors and sizes to satisfy their customers.

Yoplait offers their customers a way to live a healthier lifestyle through their products. Yoplait is the leading brand, which has the largest amount of Vitamin D offerings in their yogurt compared to any other yogurt brand. They also offer ways to lose weight, the lower your cholesterol, and how to keep your heart healthy.

Yoplait has been successful by using the focus business-level strategy. This has allowed the division to take specific action to attack the specific segments of the market. The have found niches for each line of yogurt product they offer. Yoplait has mainly aimed their products specifically at women, children, and dieters. Yoplait, for the most part, focuses on health to appeal to their consumers, and has been successful at it. Recently, Yoplait stated that yogurt may help burn fat, to aim at the diet customers. Yoplait has effectively positioned their products as being portable and convenient, having a number of different health benefits, and the flexibility to eat yogurt any time of the day. From their healthy heart products to their ultra light yogurt to Go-GURT, Yoplait has focused each product to separate niches of the market to become the leading yogurt brand in the United States.

1 > LC1 Background / Dairy Division
2 > Nestlé’s Competitive Strategies
3 > Competitor Profile – General Mills
4 > SWOT Analysis
5 > Proposed Strategic Plan
6 > Sources


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