Brand Leaders
Staying ahead of the game.
by Pamela Accetta Smith
What’s in a name? According to marketing experts, everything.
It is very important for a company to convey a consistent and accurate understanding of what its brand name represents.
And just how critical is a brand name to a successful business? Just ask the Nestlés, Deans, Krafts, Breyers or Yoplaits of the world. Through the use of consistent long-term branding strategies, these names have come to represent a very specific product image. Experts say a brand name, if created successfully, defines a company’s culture and products, and often provides a mental link for the consumer who associates brand attributes with aspects of the company itself.
TOP 10 natural shredded cheese brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$1,973.79.4%100.0792.92.0%100.0
Private Label839.06.542.5349.7-2.044.1
Kraft553.018.028.0221.311.227.9
Sargento224.01.211.485.0-5.810.7
Crystal Farms78.918.64.030.514.53.9
Borden64.312.13.331.22.03.9
Kraft Classic Melts32.3-3.31.613.4-7.01.7
Kraft Free30.512.81.611.18.51.4
DiGiorno23.9-8.91.27.0-11.10.9
Sorrento15.0-11.40.86.3-5.00.8
Stella12.32.70.63.9-2.30.5
*Total sales of all forms of natural shredded cheese brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
Many of the top brands listed in each dairy category have held leadership positions for many years, but for those challenging the top spots, reaching the top doesn’t come easy. Sometimes a line extension with an innovative benefit such as packaging or healthful initiative is enough to overthrow the leaders, or at least move up in the ranks.
Regardless of where a brand ranks among its competitors, maintaining market share can be difficult, and gaining market share even more so. But a little strategic thinking can go a long way toward building a successful brand.
According to marketing solutions Web site ycommunicate.com, once a brand identity has been developed, regardless of how or what it represents at the time of its creation, two basic elements can affect the perceived meaning of a name or emotional attachment to a name: advertising and unforeseen acts.
Leading Brands by Category
Flavored Milk/Eggnog/Buttermilk Nestlé Nesquik
Natural CheeseKraft
Natural Shredded CheeseKraft
Ice CreamBreyers
Frozen NoveltiesNestlé Drumstick
Pudding/Mousse/Gelatin/Parfaits Jell-O
Yogurt/Yogurt DrinksYoplait
ButterLand O’Lakes
Cottage CheeseBreakstone
Sour CreamBreakstone
DipT. Marzetti
Each of these can affect a company, both negatively and positively. Also, mass-media advertising builds a specific profile for a company through a consistently conveyed message about its product. It can often create top-of-mind awareness and long-term brand identity, or a call to action on a specific initiative. By its very nature, a brand identity’s effectiveness is rooted in its longevity.
But, of course, the product has to be good — darn good.
What follows is a comprehensive look at the dairy case — where does your brand rank?  
TOP 10 natural cheese brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$5,815.011.5%100.02,154.53.6100.0
Private Label2,097.67.136.1868.3-2.440.3
Kraft1,308.115.122.5511.010.423.7
Sargento390.613.06.7143.54.16.7
Tillamook194.912.13.443.85.52.0
Crystal Farms133.320.32.360.117.12.8
Sorrento105.218.51.832.614.71.5
Precious103.519.01.831.530.11.5
Frigo100.48.51.731.0-4.21.4
Polly-O92.714.51.626.49.41.2
Borden83.317.51.441.26.01.9
*Total sales of all forms of natural cheese in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 cottage cheese brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$867.00.9%100.0414.8-0.0%100.0
Private Label310.3-0.435.8159.5-0.438.5
Breakstone83.47.09.632.26.37.8
Knudsen75.7-1.28.728.4-3.86.9
Friendship27.21.93.113.21.93.2
BreakstoneCottage Doubles 27.2 5.0 3.1 24.7 7.8 6.0
Dean’s26.81.33.112.2-2.32.9
Hood22.626.12.610.518.82.5
Light N Lively18.5-3.32.17.2-4.41.7
Prairie Farms18.43.32.18.93.02.1
Hiland14.5-20.41.77.4-21.11.8
*Total sales of all forms of cottage cheese brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 frozen novelties brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$2,233.21.1%100.0763.5-0.9%100.0
Private Label329.61.114.8140.91.018.5
Nestlé Drumstick128.312.15.738.019.05.0
Klondike122.6-7.05.541.1-10.15.4
Weight WatchersSmart Ones 99.4 -2.8 4.5 23.2 -6.1 3.0
Dreyer’s/Edy’sWhole Fruit 91.6 7.5 4.1 30.8 4.5 4.0
Silhouette89.9-28.94.019.7-30.12.6
Popsicle88.7-3.74.033.7-3.14.4
Klondike Carb Smart66.01,248.23.017.71,286.32.3
Häagen-Dazs55.516.12.518.520.52.4
Klondike Slim-A-Bear50.17.02.315.15.42.0
*Total sales of all forms of frozen novelties brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 Flavored Milk/Eggnog/Buttermilk brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$719.8-0.5%100.0396.7-7.4%100.0
Private Label199.93.827.8110.7-1.827.9
Nestlé Nesquik102.9-8.314.360.0-8.815.1
Dean’s29.6-10.84.117.2-18.04.3
Kemps26.043.83.611.411.02.9
Hershey’s-Morningstar 18.4 -22.0 2.6 9.7 -34.3 2.4
Mayfield12.84.21.86.1-8.51.6
Borden11.6-12.31.65.4-19.21.4
Prairie Farms11.47.91.66.63.11.7
Garelick Farms11.33.41.65.9-2.41.5
Hood10.510.91.54.06.71.0
*Total sales of all forms of flavored mik, eggnog and buttermilk brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 dips brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$394.82.0%100.0190.5-3.3%100.0
T.Marzetti75.94.419.225.42.913.3
Dean’s48.53.512.328.11.314.8
Heluva Good29.07.57.315.4-0.88.1
Kraft28.5-11.97.217.6-12.29.2
Classic Guacamole16.9-8.84.34.4-11.22.3
Litehouse8.0141.72.02.9126.41.5
Marie’s7.2-32.01.82.3-35.71.2
Salads of the Sea4.6161.11.21.4157.10.8
Bison4.5-6.81.12.8-4.61.5
Yoders4.02.11.02.6-0.61.4
*Total sales of all forms of dip brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 Ice Cream/Sherbet brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$4,375.41.0%100.01,349.5-1.7%100.0
Private Label835.4-2.819.1290.9-8.421.6
Breyers529.1-2.912.1152.6-2.811.3
Dreyer’s/Edy’s Grand 422.2 10.4 9.7 125.5 14.3 9.3
Blue Bell246.33.85.675.82.35.6
Häagen-Dazs211.514.34.863.616.74.7
Ben & Jerry’s179.7-3.64.157.1-5.14.2
Dreyer’s/Edy’sGrand Light 129.7 55.5 3.0 36.0 61.3 2.7
Wells’ Blue Bunny103.4-2.62.428.1-1.62.1
Turkey Hill93.69.42.132.911.42.4
Dreyer’s/Edy’s78.37.31.821.39.61.6
*Total sales of all forms of ice cream and sherbet brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
Top Pudding/Mousse/Gelatin/Parfait Brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$570.4 -0.1% 100.0 260.5 -4.8% 100.0
Jell-O 145.15.425.452.02.020.0
Jell-O Gelatin Snacks 86.211.115.130.48.011.7
Kozy Shack 83.310.514.634.44.613.2
Jell-O Free 56.3-3.99.919.8-6.87.6
Swiss Miss 48.28.28.518.98.47.3
Private Label 34.60.16.118.25.77.0
Jell-O Smoothie 22.859.44.07.954.63.1
Jell-O Extreme 15.0-22.92.65.4-25.12.1
Jell-O Crème Savers 11.1-54.32.03.9-55.71.5
Señor Rico 9.31.41.629.0-4.511.1
*Total sales of all forms of pudding, mousse, gelatin and parfait brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 Yogurt/Yogurt Drink brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$2,799.76.7%100.03,180.43.2%100.0
Private Label330.8-0.711.8585.11.718.4
Yoplait283.5-0.810.1438.51.613.8
Yoplait Light174.512.66.2275.518.68.7
Dannon Light ‘n’ Fit164.26.55.9208.55.46.6
Yoplait Go-Gurt129.45.34.649.05.71.5
Dannon Danimals94.62.53.438.4-8.31.2
Yoplait Trix91.5-1.63.336.4-1.41.1
Yoplait Whips86.01.73.1137.76.74.3
Stonyfield Farm83.713.33.065.514.62.1
Dannon Fruiton the Bottom 78.0 0.6 2.8 128.8 2.1 4.1
*Total sales of all forms of yogurt and yogurt drink brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.

Top Butter Brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions) % Changevs. Year Ago $
share
Unit Sales(In Millions) % Changevs. Year Ago unit
share
Total Category$1,277.818.4%100.0441.7-9.3%100.0
Private Label581.020.145.5220.6-11.249.9
Land O’Lakes379.514.729.7115.1-8.826.1
Challenge63.419.75.018.73.54.2
Breakstone32.323.62.513.40.63.0
Tillamook29.133.12.39.16.32.1
Crystal Farms23.925.91.99.1-8.02.1
Kellers19.69.11.56.8-20.81.6
Hotel Bar16.20.21.35.8-25.71.3
Cabot15.119.01.24.5-8.81.0
Darigold9.84.10.83.4-22.80.8
*Total sales of all forms of butter brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.
TOP 10 sour cream brands*
 $ Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Ago$
share
Unit Sales(In Millions)% Changevs. Year Agounit
share
Total Category$673.23.7%100.0438.9-1.5%100.0
Private Label196.03.029.1149.2-1.634.0
Breakstone102.71.515.369.1-1.815.7
Daisy80.723.512.045.616.410.4
Knudsen Hampshire50.3-4.17.522.1-6.95.0
Daisy Light31.217.24.617.710.44.0
Friendship13.48.02.011.2-0.72.6
Knudsen10.5-4.11.65.1-8.11.2
Dean’s9.6-4.81.46.6-12.81.5
Cacique9.4-3.51.42.7-8.20.6
Tillamook9.13.41.45.42.21.2
*Total sales of all forms of sour cream brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 26, 2004.
Source: Information Resources Inc.