Starbucks is preparing to hop on the Greek yogurt bandwagon. The coffee chain announced Tuesday plans to team up with French-based yogurt maker Danone to launch its own line of parfaits in the U.S. next spring.
The new co-created yogurt line will be marketed under the Starbucks-owned Evolution Fresh brand and called, "Evolution Fresh, inspired by Dannon." It will be sold in Starbucks stores by 2014 and all major grocery stores by 2015, according to USA Today.
"Starbucks is committed to evolving and enhancing our customer experience with innovative and wholesome food offerings," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement. "We 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 [grocery] channels."
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The partnership gives Starbucks solid backing as it tests the waters of the $6 billion yogurt industry. It also widens Danone's reach. At 27.9 percent market share, Danone's Dannon is ahead of General Mills' Yoplait at 24.7 percent, according to IRI data. Danone also owns the Stonyfield brand.
"With a fast-growing but still low penetration of the yogurt category, the U.S. remains a key growth opportunity for Danone," Danone CEO Franck Riboud said in a statement.
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Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Greek yogurt is the latest health food craze gripping the country. It has a higher protein content and a thicker feel than regular yogurt because it's strained to remove the excess whey.
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