Classic 1980s kids' dessert fromage frais is undergoing a mini renaissance.
After a poor 2006, sales bounced back in 2007 thanks to the popularity of squeezable packs. Sales grew 5.7%, to £200m, according to TNS Worldpanel, reversing the 0.8% decline in 2006.
The growth was driven by Yoplait Dairy Crest's Petits Filous brand, sold in tube and pot formats. A £6m multimedia campaign to promote the health benefits of fromage frais is now under way.
The rest of the £1.7bn market for yoghurts and pot desserts also had a good year. Sales of chilled desserts were up 6.9% to £508m, driven by a craving for bite-sized indulgence.
Yoghurts, on the other hand, played the health card to help drive sales - up 5.5% to £989m.
Danone's Activia was the stellar performer, ousting Müllerlight as TNS's top brand as consumers continued to turn away from diet yoghurts in favour of functional products with specific health benefits that were clearly communicated.
Müller has reacted by relaunching Müllerlight in an attempt to challenge the perception it's just a diet product. Efforts to encourage consumers to think of yoghurt as an all-day snack also seem to have paid off.
But, said experts, consumption in the UK was still a long way behind other countries.
Although 96% of households bought a yoghurt or pot dessert last year, in volume terms the French still eat twice as many. There was, therefore, considerable room for further growth, said experts.
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