The news that Unilever is set to acquire frozen yogurt brand, Yasso, indicates that it is actively trying to improve its health portfolio and reach health-conscious consumers. Yasso is a premium frozen yogurt brand which specialises in high quality and low-calorie frozen snacks. Launched in 2009, the brand’s products are available across the US, with all products containing under 150 calories and easy to consume on the go.
Unilever is committed to improving its health portfolio, having low-sugar, low-calorie and healthier snack options under its trademark. The acquisition of Yasso underscores this initiative, allowing Unilever to successfully target health-conscious US consumers with innovative options. Across the US, 25% of consumers are extremely concerned about their health, with 38% always influenced by how well a product impacts their health and well-being when purchasing food and drinks, highlighting a strong target market for health-centred snacks in the country. Moreover, Yasso specifically offers health-centred indulgence, which is interesting and generates a competitive advantage for the company.
Yasso’s products all contain between 4g and 7g of protein per serving, between 50-170 calories and no high-intensity sweeteners. These claims are all appealing to consumers, especially those who are actively trying to make wiser choices. In total, 41% of US consumers look for calorie count on packaging in order to decide how healthy a product is, with 30% looking for protein content for the same reason. This reinforces that these aspects are attractive to consumers, thus allowing Yasso to effectively meet the needs of these consumers.
As well as being nutritious and low-calorie, Yasso products are also all single-serve and perfect to consume on the go. 32% of US consumers deem convenience to be essential when purchasing a product, and around one-in-10 (9%) US consumers specifically associate good value for money with a confectionery/dessert product being easy to use. This indicates that there is a proportion of US consumers who actively look for convenient sweet snacks that would be good to consume when out and about, which Yasso can successfully facilitate.
Since 2009, Yasso has met the needs of health-conscious consumers who are looking for convenient indulgence, and they have successfully executed a low or no variant dessert option with frozen Greek yogurt snacks. Overall, the market for healthier alternative sweet snacks is limited due to the difficulties in satisfying consumers. In the US, 29% of consumers are sometimes put off trying healthier dessert alternatives as they do not think they will like the taste, with 16% not thinking they will like the texture. Yasso, however, has already overcome these barriers, evidenced by its continued success and development.
The acquisition is therefore likely to be a success for Unilever as it contributes to its ongoing health initiatives and allows the company to continue building on Yasso’s success with its health expertise, coupled with Unilever’s indulgence expertise.