Me and My Brand:  Maren Fuhrich of YAZOO

Maren Fuhrich, Brand Manager at YAZOO, says that the brand enjoys a market-leading position, and that its limited-edition flavours – such as the choc-orangeJaffalicious– are massively influencing the market and consumer preferences

Maren Fuhrich

Can you please give an overview of your brand?

The UK has been loving YAZOO for nearly 35 years. It was the first flavoured milk to be sold in the UK, making YAZOO the original milk drink. We’re now the nation’s number one traditional flavoured milk drink[1]. As a brand, 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 deliciously refreshing treats as we strive to shake up the mundane. We want consumers to know our drinks deliver consistently on taste and quality, so they’ll keep drinking!

How is your brand currently performing?  

YAZOO saw sales increase by £6.7m, to £62.8m[2] last year as we continued to perform strongly and outgrow the flavoured milk category, while finished goods delivered an excellent volume growth of 7 per cent[3]. Convenience as a channel has seen strong growth this year, led entirely by Symbols, Indies, and Forecourts, which deliver 49 per cent of brand sales[4].

How is the milk drinks market currently performing?  

The UK flavoured milk market is currently worth over £382m[5], and within this, YAZOO is the number one traditional flavoured milk brand[6].

Do you have any new product development?

We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline for 2022. We don’t want to giveaway too much at this stage, but can say that as a result of popular demand we’re bringing back one of our successful limited-edition flavours. So, watch this space!

How are you supporting your brand and NPD?

Committed to innovating flavoured milk, our new Choc-Orange flavour, available in 400ml and 1l offerings, is the fourth YAZOO limited edition in three years.

Previous limited-edition flavours have proved very popular with consumers and retailers, delivering upwards of £7m incremental sales to the category[7].

The popularity of chocolate orange as a combination continues to grow, with a 52 per cent increase in UK search demand for the flavour vs. last year[8]. The new Choc-Orange edition combines our signature chocolate milk with sharp but sweet citrus tones.

This year, we’ve again linked up with the Merlin Group to offer shoppers the chance to win two-for-one tickets to Thorpe Park and Alton Towers. Available across our permanent and Limited-Edition flavours in individual and sharing size formats, the popular promotion sits front and centre on-pack to draw attention and standout on shelf.

In addition to our NPD and promotions, we recently transitioned from 20 per cent to 100 per cent rPET packaging across our 300ml and 400ml packs, which also feature easy peelable sleeves to make stripping and correct recycling even simpler.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?  

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

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

What trends are occurring in the sector?  

Taste continues to be the number one reason why consumers purchase flavoured milk products[9]. Chocolate remains the most popular flavour across the market, with over 50 per cent market share[10], but our strawberry flavour YAZOO performs about as well as that. This year’s Limited-Edition Jaffalicious Choc-Orange has gained strong traction since launch, already achieving 20 per cent distribution[11].

Along with taste, health credentials will always be a key driver for the market. We’re always working to remind shoppers about the goodness of dairy drinks.

Take home has skyrocketed over the past year. Sharing packs currently occupy over 30 per cent of the category[12]. Over the past six months, sharing packs have continued to gain category share at the expense of single serve packs, experiencing a value sales growth of +5.6 per cent[13] vs single serve.

YAZOO single serve accounts for 64 per cent brand share[14], however recent growth has come through from the larger 1L pack format, gaining +2 per cent brand share in convenience in the past year[15].

 Describe your brand in three words … 

Delicious, Fun, Iconic

[1] IRI Infoscan, Total Market, Volume Sales, Flavoured Milk, 52 w/e 5 Dec, 20

[2] Top Products survey, Nielsen, 2020

[3] IRI Infoscan, Total Market, Volume Sales, Flavoured Milk, 52 w/e 5 Dec, 20

[4] IRI 52 w/e 24th April

[5]IRI Infoscan, Total Market, Value Sales, Flavoured Milk, 52 w/e 2nd Jan 2021

[6] IRI Infoscan, Total Market, Volume Sales, Flavoured Milk

[7] IRI, Sales Data, 2017-2020, Value, Volume, and £/per litre

[8]Google Trends, UK (2013-2020) Dec 2020 – “searches for chocolate orange up +52% in December 2020 vs December 2019”

[9] Millward Brown, Category Entry Points Quantification, Category: Flavoured Drinks, Country: UK, January 2018As

[10] IRI 52 w/e 24th April

[11] IRI 12 w/e 24th April

[12] IRI last 6 months up to Jan 30th for Milk Drinks Ex. Coffee & Breakfast

[13] IRI last 6 months up to Jan 30th for Milk Drinks Ex. Coffee & Breakfast

[14] IRI 52 w/e 24th April

[15] IRI 52 w/e 24th April