Many of us probably start our day with a Starbucks coffee and/or maybe a yogurt from home. Now Starbucks is joining forces with the French powerhouse Danone to offer a new branded yogurt called Evolution Fresh in Starbucks stores. Not only is Starbucks going to sell the new brand in their coffee houses by 2014 but the two companies plan to expand into grocery store aisles by 2015. Starbucks proved they could get the American public to pay $4 for a coffee but can they have the same success with yogurt? Both Starbucks and Danone are betting yes that they can. Both companies are looking to take advantage of a thriving yogurt market in the US. Although their is a lot of competition and even less dairy shelf space available at grocery stores the yogurt industry continues to grow in the US. Experts say that yogurt is growing in popularity because of the convenience and health benefits. Danone and Starbucks are hoping this new lanch will put them in a position to take more market share.
Currently Americans consume on average 13lbs of yogurt per year, a large number but only a fraction of the amount of yogurt that the Europeans currently consume. For example the French consume over 75lbs of yogurt each year. Combine that with the pace at which yogurt is growing in the US and the 70 million consumer who currently eat, drink or shop at Starbucks and both companies are hoping they have a recipe for revenue.
Although both Starbucks and Danone posses brand loyalty and recognition both companies have agreed to brand the new yogurt under the name “Evolution Fresh”. Is this a good idea or just another complication in what will prove to be a very difficult project to manage over the next 12 months? Starbucks is offering yogurt because they see their customers flocking towards healthier alternatives and Danone is joining forces with Starbucks because they desperately want to be the leader in the American yogurt craze, but can two mega companies work together and tandem to produce a success? If you ask me this is going to be a very difficult project to manage and Starbucks and Danone have their work cut out for them…What might prove to be most difficult for this new venture is the vast differences in cultures between Dannone and Starbucks and the French and American businesses, only time will tell if Starbucks and Dannone can make beautiful yogurt together.