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Starbucks announces partnership to bring Greek yogurt products to stores, grocery channels

BY Jason Owen

SEATTLE AND PARIS — Starbucks Coffee Co. and Danone, a producer of French dairy products, announced today a strategic partnership that will bring a line of healthy, specialty yogurt products to participating Starbucks stores and grocery channels. The companies stated the partnership will advance Danone’s ambition to expand yogurt consumption in the United States, while growing Starbucks health and wellness offerings for its customers under the company’s Evolution Fresh brand.

A new portfolio of Evolution Fresh, Inspired by Dannon-branded ready-to-eat parfait Greek yogurt products will be co-created by Starbucks and Danone for exclusive distribution in the United States. Starbucks will offer the products through its stores in spring 2014, and Danone in grocery channels in 2015. Distribution is planned to be extended to include targeted markets around the world in a second phase that builds upon the success of the U.S. initiative.

“With a fast-growing but still low penetration of the yogurt category, the U.S. remains a key growth opportunity for Danone,” said Danone CEO Franck Riboud. “The recent success of the Greek segment and our Oikos brand have confirmed the growing appeal of tasty and nutritious yogurts for U.S. consumers and established Dannon’s leadership in the market. We believe this attraction will be further enhanced by our new access to millions of consumers through distribution in Starbucks stores, as well as through the addition of an exciting new brand, Evolution Fresh, inspired by Dannon.”

“Starbucks is committed to evolving and enhancing our customer experience with innovative and wholesome food offerings. Today’s announcement underscores this commitment through the transformation of our existing yogurt offerings and our multi-year agreement with Danone,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman, president and CEO. “We are energized by the strong customer response to Evolution Fresh offerings, and believe a strategic agreement with Danone, the world leader in fresh dairy products, affords us the perfect opportunity to grow — and elevate — the Evolution Fresh brand both in our stores and in CPG channels.”


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FDA issues 15 warning letters to companies claiming their ‘supplements’ can beat diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday took action to remove from the market illegal products, including some labeled as dietary supplements, that claim to mitigate, treat, cure or prevent diabetes and related complications. The agency recently issued letters warning 15 companies that the sale of their illegally marketed diabetes products violates federal law. The letters were sent to foreign and domestic companies whose products were sold online and in retail stores.

“Diabetes is a serious chronic condition that should be properly managed using safe and effective FDA-approved treatments,” stated FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg. “Consumers who buy violative products that claim to be treatments are not only putting themselves at risk, but also may not be seeking necessary medical attention, which could affect their diabetes management.” 

“The FDA is committed to protecting consumers from the dangers of these illegally sold products,” added Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We will continue to take aggressive action against firms that sell illegal products claiming to treat diabetes.” 

Many of the illegally sold products that are the subject to this action include claims such as “prevents and treats diabetes” and “can replace medicine in the treatment of diabetes.” In addition, some of the products may cause harm because the products contain undeclared active drug ingredients or may not have been manufactured and handled according to FDA quality standards. 

The FDA has requested a written response from these companies within 15 business days stating how the companies will correct the violations. Failure to promptly correct the violations may result in legal action, including product seizure, injunction and/or criminal prosecution, the agency noted. 

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Acosta names former Heinz chief to board

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Acosta Sales & Marketing on Tuesday announced that former Heinz chief David Moran has joined its board of directors.

In addition serving as the former president and CEO of Heinz North America, Moran worked as a national sales manager for Clorox Co. and a sales executive for Procter & Gamble. 

Moran is a graduate of the University of Louisville, the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business Executive Education Program and the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

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