What’s in a Name?
by Pamela Accetta Smith

Everything, according to brand leaders.
Everything is right. It is widely known to marketers everywhere that it’s very important for a company to convey a consistent and accurate understanding of what its brand name represents.
And just how critical is it? Very.
Just ask this year’s brand leaders.
Through the use of consistent long-term branding strategies, biggies such Kraft, Land O’Lakes, Yoplait and recent powerhouses Horizon Organic and Silk have all come to represent a very specific product image.
Many of the top brands listed in each dairy category have held leadership positions for many years, but some are sinking. And for those testing the top spots — or trying to hold on to a current one — getting there, or maintaining a seat, has its challenges. A line extension with an innovative benefit such as packaging or healthful initiative, for example, can be just the ammunition needed to overthrow a brand leader, maintain a position or move up in the ranks.
Top 10 Dairy Brands
LEADING BRANDS BY CATEGORY
Whole MilkHorizon Organic
Skim/Lowfat MilkLactaid 100
Flavored Milk/Eggnog/ButtermilkNestlé Nesquik
Milkshakes/Non-Dairy DrinksHershey’s
Kefir/Milk Substitutes/SoymilkSilk
Natural CheeseKraft
Natural Shredded CheeseKraft
Cottage CheeseBreakstone
Yogurt/Yogurt DrinksYoplait Original
ButterLand O’Lakes
Margarine/Spreads/Butter BlendsI Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
Sour CreamDaisy
DipT. Marzetti
Pudding/Mousse/Gelatin/ParfaitJell-O
Ice Cream/SherbetBreyers
Frozen NoveltiesNestlé Drumstick
Due to developing market trends, we have included three additional categories this year in the data provided by Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. (IRI): Milkshakes/Non-Dairy Drinks, Kefir/Milk Substitutes/Soymilk and Margarine/Spreads/Butter Blends. Leading brands in these new categories are Hershey’s, Silk and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, respectively.
Dannon and Yoplait steal the yogurt category (not surprising) with newcomers to the Top 10 — Dannon Activia and Yoplait Whips.
By its very nature, a brand identity’s effectiveness is rooted in its longevity. And, of course, the product has to be good, dang good. What follows is a comprehensive look at the dairy case.
Where does your brand rank?
Top 10 Whole Milk Brands*
 $ Sales
(In Millions)
% Change
vs. Year Ago
$
share
Unit Sales
(In Millions)
% Change
vs. Year Ago
unit
share
Total Category$2,949.0 -6.8% 100.0 1,144.0 -5.0% 100.0
Private Label1,847.1 -8.4 62.6 727.4 -5.1 63.6
Horizon Organic49.5 13.4 1.7 11.9 3.7 1.0
Borden46.1 -7.5 1.6 15.9 -9.4 1.4
Lactaid 10034.2 9.2 1.2 9.4 7.0 0.8
Prairie Farms30.5 7.9 1.0 12.9 9.8 1.1
Garelick Farms29.9 -4.7 1.0 13.3 -4.4 1.2
Pet28.4 -5.0 1.0 10.2 -7.1 0.9
Organic Valley25.3 37.3 0.9 6.6 27.0 0.6
Mayfield25.0 -8.0 0.8 7.3 -9.0 0.6
Dean’s24.8 -4.0 0.8 11.3 -0.9 1.0
*Total sales of all forms of whole milk brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Skim/Lowfat Milk Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$6,653.9-2.0%100.02,716.4-0.8%100.0
Private Label4,106.0-3.561.71,741.4-0.864.1
Lactaid 100225.17.83.464.73.82.4
Horizon Organic143.116.72.235.97.91.3
Dean’s85.21.81.340.34.01.5
Organic Valley83.339.31.321.629.20.8
Garelick Farms72.50.41.131.20.71.1
Prairie Farms67.30.51.030.63.71.1
Kemps65.3-20.31.026.7-17.11.0
Hood64.9-1.11.025.0-1.20.9
Mayfield58.11.70.916.6-0.60.6
*Total sales of all forms of skim/lowfat milk brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Flavored Milk/Eggnog/Buttermilk Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$721.1-0.6%100.0383.9-1.0%100.0
Private Label213.5-2.029.6115.2-1.830.0
Nestlé Nesquik102.23.314.257.41.415.0
Dean’s26.7-8.83.715.1-7.13.9
Kemps17.10.42.48.93.92.3
Prairie Farms14.813.72.18.313.72.2
Mayfield13.0-4.51.85.9-6.11.5
Borden11.90.41.75.2-2.61.3
Garelick Farms11.3-1.51.65.3-4.61.4
Hiland11.28.31.66.48.01.7
Land O’Lakes10.5-9.41.55.5-6.71.4
*Total sales of all forms of flavored milk/eggnog/buttermilk brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Milkshake/Non-Dairy Drink Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$66.6-0.6%100.039.9-4.3%100.0
Nestlé Nesquik18.99.128.415.19.037.9
Hershey’s8.8-34.513.36.2-36.115.5
Rice Dream8.815.213.22.48.46.0
Hershey’s5.0-32.07.53.5-33.28.7
Odwalla Super Protein4.828.97.21.627.54.1
Kerns Auguas Frescas3.215.14.71.218.43.0
Ben & Jerry’s2.7N/A4.11.4N/A3.5
Private Label2.6-12.63.91.8-10.34.5
Shamrock Farms1.9126.92.81.8121.84.5
Don Jose1.521.32.30.614.91.4
*Total sales of all forms of milkshake/non-dairy drink brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Kefir/Milk Substitute/Soymilk Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$431.97.2%100.0138.93.1%100.0
Silk300.111.269.594.46.168.0
8th Continent55.1-0.812.817.8-3.112.8
Private Label33.242.07.713.134.59.4
Hood Carb Countdown13.8-47.23.24.2-48.03.0
Lifeway12.555.82.93.947.92.8
Meyenberg7.513.41.72.28.41.6
Organic Valley2.024.80.50.611.20.4
Farmland Special Request1.6185.40.40.5169.90.3
Helios1.241.00.30.333.50.2
Vitamite0.8-71.40.20.3-64.40.2
*Total sales of all forms of kefir/milk substitute/soymilk brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Natural Cheese Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$6,091.241.9%100.02,285.04.7%100.0
Private Label (Shreds)905.183.214.9417.713.018.3
Private Label (Chunks)786.06-2.512.9291.31.712.7
Kraft (Shreds)561.97-1.69.2231.21.810.1
Kraft (Chunks)212.13-6.63.594.5-3.64.1
Sargento (Shreds)204.11-4.53.483.5-0.13.7
Private Label (Slices)201.5913.33.386.122.03.8
Tillamook (Chunks)153.51-1.22.532.6-0.91.4
Kraft (Grated)141.322.32.344.51.61.9
Private Label (String)110.3114.21.885.93.93.8
Kraft Cracker Barre l(Chunks)101.61-1.71.736.01.01.6
*Total sales of all forms of natural cheese brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Natural Shredded Cheese Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$2,014.11-0.3%33.1865.06.0%37.9
Private Label905.183.214.9417.713.018.3
Kraft561.97-1.69.2231.21.810.1
Sargento204.11-4.53.483.5-0.13.7
Crystal Farms82.112.51.333.89.11.5
Borden48.80-11.20.823.5-9.61.0
Kraft Free31.054.50.511.98.50.5
DiGiorno30.6011.60.58.410.10.4
Kraft Classic Melts19.92-23.90.38.7-21.20.4
Stella14.06-0.60.24.2-3.10.2
Sargento Bistro Blends9.67-39.40.24.4-36.80.2
*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 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Cottage Cheese Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
             
Total Category$840.8-2.5%100.0403.9-2.4%100.0
Private Label302.4-1.836.0156.1-2.038.6
Breakstone86.81.310.332.9-0.28.2
Knudsen70.9-6.68.426.2-7.36.5
Breakstone Cottage Doubles35.413.04.233.215.38.2
Dean’s27.1-4.73.212.0-4.53.0
Friendship27.0-3.33.213.2-3.73.3
Hood22.60.02.79.9-2.62.4
Prairie Farms16.0-18.01.98.0-12.22.0
Light N Lively14.1-17.51.75.3-18.91.3
Knudsen Cottage Doubles13.411.01.610.811.72.7
*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 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Dip Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$410.11.9%100.0184.0-1.5%100.0
T. Marzetti83.32.920.326.91.114.6
Private Label80.15.119.539.8-1.521.6
Dean’s45.2-2.511.026.1-2.514.2
Heluva Good30.72.17.516.96.19.2
Kraft24.7-4.16.015.2-7.18.3
Classic Guacamole17.73.24.34.3-2.32.3
Calavo8.452.82.12.150.11.1
Litehouse5.1-2.21.21.8-16.91.0
Salads of the Sea5.0-3.01.21.5-5.40.8
Santa Barbara Bay4.27.41.01.16.90.6
*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 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Butter Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$1,197.3-6.3%100.0461.73.0%100.0
Private Label548.0-7.545.8237.62.851.5
Land O’Lakes343.9-5.928.7114.13.524.7
Challenge59.7-3.45.017.90.53.9
Breakstone30.7-14.92.613.0-13.22.8
Tillamook24.1-9.52.07.7-6.61.7
Crystal Farms21.6-0.71.89.07.52.0
Kellers19.0-15.31.67.91.21.7
Cabot18.913.91.67.028.11.5
Hotel Bar17.9-5.21.57.722.01.7
Horizon Organic12.39.21.02.25.30.5
*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 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Margarine/Spread/Butter Blend Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$1,175.5-2.5%100.0766.0-6.9%100.0
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter229.2-4.419.5121.1-4.915.8
Shedd’s Country Crock189.91.916.297.6-0.312.7
Private Label81.4-11.06.981.2-14.410.6
Smart Balance72.940.66.232.934.44.3
Parkay71.4-11.96.150.4-14.76.6
Blue Bonnet70.8-11.06.080.9-14.210.6
Land O’Lakes64.1-1.35.539.4-3.25.1
Imperial51.3-9.84.467.6-11.78.8
Smart Balance Light43.832.83.722.331.92.9
Fleischmann’s41.2-12.83.526.3-16.03.4
*Total sales of all forms of margarine/spread/butter blend brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Sour Cream Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$686.80.4%100.0441.20.3%100.0
Private Label192.8-2.228.1149.8-0.434.0
Daisy157.019.722.988.320.120.0
Breakstone100.0-3.414.666.8-3.515.1
Knudsen Hampshire50.5-2.37.323.0-0.85.2
Friendship13.1-2.21.910.6-4.52.4
Cacique12.64.01.83.66.20.8
Knudsen10.6-5.81.55.3-4.81.2
Tillamook8.97.01.34.92.51.1
Dean’s8.3-12.41.25.6-10.61.3
Hood7.1-1.11.05.0-4.01.1
*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 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Yogurt/Yogurt Drink Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$3,203.206.6%100.03,587.14.4%100.0
Private Label361.70-1.311.3633.8-2.617.7
Yoplait Original353.136.711.0524.25.714.6
Yoplait Light265.8313.68.3422.815.311.8
Dannon Light & Fit216.596.86.8271.88.67.6
Stonyfield Farm130.9922.94.194.410.02.6
Dannon Activia128.14N/A4.051.2N/A1.4
Dannon Danimals (Drinkables)98.71-2.03.136.6-1.11.0
Yoplait Go-Gurt98.22-12.53.134.7-14.91.0
Yoplait Whips92.613.72.9152.35.74.2
Yoplait Trix86.29-3.42.733.9-2.60.9
*Total sales of all forms of yogurt/yogurt drink brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Pudding/Mousse/Gelatin/Parfait Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$572.0-2.0%100.0260.5-2.7%100.0
Jell-O214.511.537.575.510.029.0
Kozy Shack105.28.018.439.60.915.2
Jell-O Gelatin Snacks51.5-3.59.018.2-2.97.0
Jell-O Free45.6-11.28.015.7-12.96.0
Private Label44.7-3.37.820.8-5.98.0
Swiss Miss33.6-18.85.913.0-19.15.0
Señor Rico12.419.72.232.212.512.3
Jell-O Sundae Toppers10.4-50.81.83.7-50.51.4
Lakeview Farms6.55.41.13.95.61.5
Reser’s6.0-2.41.12.8-3.51.1
*Total sales of all forms of pudding/mousse/gelatin/parfait brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Ice Cream/Sherbet Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$4,403.0-0.3%100.01,370.0-0.4%100.0
Private Label (Ice Cream)812.8-2.718.5285.9-0.420.9
Breyers638.87.514.5196.710.014.4
Dreyer’s/ Edy’s Grand445.1-1.010.1130.9-4.79.5
Häagen-Dazs287.312.16.583.47.26.1
Dreyer’s/Edy’s SlowChurned284.0100.86.576.893.35.6
Blue Bell253.22.05.875.01.05.5
Ben & Jerry’s207.68.74.767.810.14.9
Wells’ Blue Bunny122.014.02.834.617.12.5
Turkey Hill116.913.82.741.814.13.0
Private Label (Sherbet/Sorbet/Ices)59.8-4.01.427.3-2.72.0
*Total sales of all forms of ice cream/sherbet brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.
 
Top 10 Frozen Novelty Brands*
 $ SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
$
SHARE
UNIT SALES
(IN MILLIONS)
% CHANGE
VS. YEAR AGO
UNIT
SHARE
Total Category$2,470.72.3%100.0819.4-0.1%100.0
Private Label317.9-4.012.9134.5-3.216.4
Nestlé Drumstick131.3-0.65.338.0-3.84.6
Weight Watchers127.457.35.228.954.13.5
Klondike126.2-5.05.142.7-7.55.2
Popsicle113.310.44.641.55.05.1
Dreyer’s/Edy’s Whole Fruit103.4-1.34.231.6-9.93.9
Carvel93.26.03.85.92.40.7
The Skinny Cow84.316.23.419.512.82.4
Dreyer’s/Edy’s Dibs83.697.83.425.291.63.1
Häagen-Dazs57.47.62.319.08.12.3
*Total sales of all forms of frozen novelty brands in supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Wal-Mart) in the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.
SOURCE: Information Resources Inc.