Dannon Co. Inc., the U.S. unit of France’s Groupe Danone said on Thursday it will launch its Activia yogurt in the United States next month — a product it says improves digestive health.
The dairy products company said it is expecting Activia, a so-called pro-biotic yogurt that contains special bacteria it says can help regulate the digestive system if eaten daily for two weeks, to expand the overall U.S. yogurt market, currently estimated at about $2.5 billion a year.
Michael Neuwirth, a Dannon spokesman, told Reuters that global sales of Activia had grown 24 percent a year for the past four years, far outpacing the growth of the overall U.S. yogurt market, which is growing about 6 percent to 7 percent a year.
Neuwirth said about 16 percent of Americans eat yogurt more than once a week, compared to about 77 percent in France and about 64 percent in Spain.
More functional yogurt products could increase the number of consumers since it has an added benefit beyond basic nutrition, Neuwirth said.
Activia, which is already sold in about 25 countries, had 2004 sales of about 650 million euros, or just under 5 percent of the company’s total net sales.