General Mills debuts yogurt with 25 grams of protein


Dive Brief:

  • General Mills has added a new high-protein yogurt to its keto-friendly Ratio product line that contains 25 grams of protein and 3 grams of sugar, according to a press release. The company claims it is the highest-protein yogurt available on the market in a single-serve cup.
  • Ratio Protein comes in five flavors — strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, coconut and key lime — and is available at major retailers nationwide. It joins the original line of Ratio yogurts, which contain 15 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar per serving.
  • Yogurt makers are eager to catch consumers’ attention with new, targeted offerings that focus on functional ingredients like probiotics and that offer higher protein and lower sugar content. The segment has seen a recent dip in sales as consumers begin to suffer from an overload of options.

Dive Insight:

The yogurt aisle is brimming with choices as food manufacturers vie for consumers’ attention. But as many people look to cut their sugar intake and eat healthier during the pandemic, manufacturers are facing a new challenge: With some yogurts containing high levels of sugar, the product can be a tough option for the 70% of adults who are concerned about their intake of the sweetener. 

At the same time, consumers are showing a strong desire for healthy protein options, according to a recent survey from the International Food Information Council. More than half of consumers (56%) aim to include protein at lunch and 49% breakfast. Many of them are followers of the ketogenic diet, which ranked among the top five diets in the U.S., according to Statista.

General Mills’ Ratio Protein yogurt could address all of these needs, appealing to athletes, active individuals and dieters who need to consume a higher level of daily protein. The Ratio brand already targets keto dieters with snack bars that contain one gram of sugar and 12 grams of protein per serving. With the addition of Ratio Proteinyogurt, General Mills is keeping all of its low-sugar, high-protein options under one brand umbrella, making it easier to connect with a specific consumer.

The company has been making a concerted effort to launch products that feature functional ingredients or align with health-conscious consumers’ preferences. In 2019, it announced a partnership with GoodBelly to create a line of lactose-free yogurts and single probiotic-infused cereals. Yoplait, which General Mills owns jointly with French dairy cooperative Sodiaal, offers YQ yogurt with 15 to 17 grams of protein per serving and less sugar than traditional low-fat yogurts. 

Danone has taken a similar tact, launching new lines of yogurts with functional ingredients or features under specific brand labels to cut through the chaos of the category. In its Oikos Greek yogurt line, it offers Triple Zero with 15 grams of protein per serving and zero added sugars. Its Activia line is synonymous with high probiotics and gut health. Last year, Danone also launched a low-sugar yogurt under its Two Good brand, which posted $68.4 million in sales in 2019, its first year on the market. It is working on a Greek low-fat variety to add to the Two Good umbrella.

A number of other yogurt makers have launched high-protein, low- or no-sugar formulations. In 2019, Noosa debuted HiLo, which features 12 grams of protein and 12 grams of sugar per serving. Icelandic yogurt brand Siggi’s also highlights the low sugar, high protein content of its products.

Yogurt makers aren’t stopping at low-sugar and high-protein formulations. Some are adding nut butters and oats while others are launching plant-based options. Whether introducing new products into the already noisy yogurt segment will capture consumers’ interest remains to be seen. But with competition getting fiercer, developing targeted options that speak to a specific consumer’s needs offers the potential to cut through the noise.