With Canadian frozen novelty marketer CoolBrands International Inc., acquiring the yogurt brands and assets belonging to Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., the refrigerated yogurt case is poised for some "novel" new products.

Already we are seeing major marketers adding ingredients such as plant sterols, fiber and extra vitamins and minerals to their products. For example, General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, recently rolled out the first U.S. yogurt to contain cholesterol-lowering plant sterols. And, Johanna Foods Inc., Flemington, N.J., markets La Yogurt® Enriched, which is blended low-fat yogurt with extra calcium and vitamins A, C, D and E. The company also has a line of yogurt in flavors that are particularly appealing to the burgeoning Hispanic population.

Branded Sabor Latino, flavors include banana, guava, mango, papaya, pear, pineapple-banana, strawberry-kiwi and strawberry-vanilla.

Sabor Latino, as well as many other branded yogurts, have started becoming available in multi-packs through mainstream grocery stores. Such packaging had traditionally been limited to club stores and select mass merchandisers. Now, you can find what White Plains, N.Y.-based The Dannon Co., refers to as "family packs" in almost all retail venues.

These 8-packs of 4-oz cups are available for three of Dannon's product lines: Creamy Fruit Blends™, Danimals® and Light 'n Fit®. Marketers are also broadening their portfolio with yogurts formulated to meet specific demographic needs. From babies to toddlers, and baby boomers to seniors, the yogurt category is the first refrigerated dairy segment to participate in the concept of individualization.

Finally, carbohydrate consciousness is evolving to sugar awareness. Companies such as Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, N.H., have ceased production of Moove Over Carbs™, replacing it with Moove Over Sugar™.

Indeed, there's something for everyone in the booming yogurt category. Yogurt certainly has come a long way in the past decade or so.

The Ins and Outs of Yogurt in 2005
  Out In
Marketer Kraft Foods Inc. CoolBrands International Inc.
Ingredient Gelatin Plant Sterols
Stabilizer Modified Starch Fiber
Target Consumer Adult Females Something for Everyone
Nutrient Content Claim Lower Carbohydrates Less Sugar
Positioning As a Diet Food As Part of a Healthful Diet
Size 8-oz cups Multi-packs