The children's yoghurt market hasn't had a great year, with sales down 1% by value to £274.5m and 6% by volume [IRI 52w/e 20 February]. The big brands have continued to focus on health.

Lactalis-Nestlé has flagged up the calcium content of its Munch Bunch yoghurts, adverts highlighting the claim that one pot contains as much calcium as 100ml of milk. In May, the brand introduced new flavours to its Munch Bunch range, squeezy Stixx tubes and a split pot containing alphabet cereal. By February Stixx had achieved £587,266 sales and the split pots hit £404,420 [IRI].

While Yoplait's Petits Filous has long promoted its calcium content, the brand had a stable year, with value up 1.5% to £101.8m, helped by its core fromage frais, sales of which rose 8%, on total volumes down 0.4% [IRI]. However, health isn't always an easy message to push.

Last October, the Advertising Standards Authority banned a TV ad that suggested Actimel was "scientifically proven to help support your kids' defences".

The ASA was unconvinced by Danone's evidence, arguing the benefits shown by the company's studies on hospitalised children in India would not necessarily apply to healthy kids. The ban will make it hard for brands to overtly advertise health benefits unless they can amass a substantial body of evidence, as Benecol has for its cholesterol-reducing claims.

Taking a natural approach, rather than health per se, Plum Baby launched an organic fromage frais for babies in January last year. The products, which contain 18% fruit and no added sugar, come in strawberry & chamomile, peach & sweet fennel and raspberry & rosehip. The range sold well, and after five months Plum launched larger pots. The result? Value growth of 866% to £816,213 [IRI]. More launches are planned for the summer.

Focus On Yoghurts & Pot Desserts