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    Yogurt Giant Offers Course in ‘Dannonomics’

    Dannon wants consumers to view its yogurt as a key back-to-school staple, and so has launched a coupon promotion across several of its product lines.

    By Elaine Wong

    Dannon wants consumers to view its yogurt as a key back-to-school staple, and so has launched a coupon promotion across several of its product lines.

    The campaign, dubbed “Dannonomics,” features a loyalty program that rewards shoppers based on how much they purchase. A consumer who submits receipts totaling $15 worth of yogurt purchases, for example, would receive three $1-off coupons, while those who spend $20 and $40 would earn $6 and $15 worth of savings, respectively. To qualify, shoppers must submit all receipts documenting proof of purchase through Oct. 31 by Nov. 16.

    Dannon, a subsidiary of Paris-based Groupe Danone, the world’s largest yogurt producer, is running the promotion across several of its traditional Dannon and functional brands, including Activia, DanActive, Danimals, Light & Fit and Dan-o-nino.

    To get the word out, the White Plains, N.Y.-based company is leveraging TV, print, online, in-store and package messaging with ads that promise “Delicious yogurt in your fridge. Money back in your wallet.”

    Marketing Drive, an integrated agency whose roster of clients also includes Procter & Gamble and Campbell Soup, is handling the campaign.

    The effort to some extent echoes Kraft Foods’ August 2008 “DiGiornomics” initiative, which appealed to shopper smarts when positioning its frozen pizza brand vs. delivery. Unlike Kraft, however, which was tapping into the eat-at-home trend, the Dannonomics campaign is intended to reach consumers who still want to “enjoy nutritious, wholesome products and save money on the grocery bill,” according to Dannon rep Michael Neuwirth.

    Yogurt is a $3.8 billion category in the United States, with sales in food, drug and mass-merchandise outlets up 3.70 percent. (Data is for the 52 weeks ended July 12 and excludes Walmart.) In the United States, however, yogurt is still an emerging category, with Americans collectively consuming “less than a quarter of the yogurt” eaten per capita in European countries, Neuwirth said. (An NPD Group report published last month, however, ranked yogurt among the “top food trends expected to grow more important during the next decade,” tied with salty and savory snacks at 16 percent.)

    In recent months, Groupe Danone has relied on a mix of increased advertising spending, price reductions and yogurt-pack size adjustments to drive sales in a tough economy. Of the $136 million it spent in measured media in 2008, much of that outlay -- $63 million -- supported Activia, its probiotic yogurt line. Through June of this year, Groupe Danone has spent $69 million advertising Dannon, according to Nielsen. (Figures do not include online spending.)

    - Nielsen Brand Media

    By Elaine Wong
    • About Elaine Wong

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