Me and My Brand: Gabriella Sudall of YAZOO

Gabriella Sudall, Brand Manager, YAZOO explains why independent retailers are so important to the brand.


Can you please give an overview of your brand?

We’re the nation’s number one traditional flavoured milk drink. We’re passionate about innovation and we love challenging ourselves to have as much fun with the category as we can.

YAZOO’s quirky DNA comes through in our adventurous limited-edition flavours – we want consumers to know our drinks deliver consistently on taste and quality, so they’ll keep drinking!

As a brand, YAZOO is currently worth over £33m in convenience alone. We’re the brand leader in this channel with 22% market share, and our core Strawberry flavour continues to be a best-seller across convenience.

How is your brand currently performing?

Success of the brand has been largely due to a combination of factors such as introducing popular NPD into the market, optimising promotions and achieving distribution. We have a laser focus on really understanding buyer behaviour and driving new entry points into the category – we’re constantly opening up more drinking occasions, such as the treat-yourself buy, or the sharing at home purchase and ultimately that means we’re still continuing to see growth.

How is the milk drinks market currently performing?

The soft drink market is huge, it’s currently worth £8.6bn and the popularity of flavoured milk speaks for itself – it’s an established segment within the category now. People are actively seeking out new drink choices, and as the number one flavoured milk drink brand, we are in prime position to respond.

Generally, flavoured milk’s strong performance is in part due to the innovation within the market amplifying the benefits of milk such as RTD coffee, protein, being a breakfast alternative, and no and low sugar variants.

Of course, we can’t forget about the sugar levy impact. The levy raised the profile of the category and served as a reminder to consumers and customers of the goodness of dairy drinks as a soft drink alternative to carbonated soft drinks.

What marketing support do you currently have for your brand?

Our priority remains offering a strong product at a competitive price point. We have established ourselves as a classic family favourite and that is really key to us so this year, we’ve got some really exciting brand plans and partnerships coming up that we can’t wait to shout about. You’ll see YAZOO on TV this year and some exciting on-pack promos.

Tell us about your latest new product development?

We remain committed to innovating flavoured milk. Next month, we’re launching our third limited edition YAZOO flavour variant. Previous versions Choc-Mint and Choc-Caramel respectively generated £1million and £1.2million of sales for the brand within just five months.

Our new hazelnut flavour, Choco-Hazelicious, is set to deliver equally brilliant results. We undertook extensive consumer research to help us decide on the right flavour for this limited-edition launch. As 48% of flavoured milk sales are chocolate based, we knew this should inform our choice.

Suitable for those with nut allergies, retailers can confidently invest in Choco-Hazelicious to boost summer soft drink sales – we’re launching the flavour in different formats to ensure it can be consumed across more than one occasion, including on-the-go and at home.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?

Convenience and independent stores have always been our heartland, and we’ve always worked incredibly closely with them for over 30 years to establish ourselves – they play such a huge part of our success.

Arming retailers with insightful category advice that ensures they see their soft drink sales soar has always been a massive priority for us. Building their trust is so important; if we support them with POS and site visits, they’re more likely to stock our products, which we know consumers love, and ultimately drive profitability in-store.

What three words would you use to describe your brand?

Delicious, refreshing and playful!