Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Company and Danone, Paris, France, have joined in a strategic agreement to offer a jointly created and developed selection of new specialty yogurt products in participating Starbucks stores and in grocery channels. This will advance Danone’s ambition to expand yogurt consumption in the U.S., while growing Starbucks health and wellness offerings for its customers under the company’s Evolution Fresh brand.
A new portfolio under the brand name Evolution Fresh, Inspired by Dannon, will offer ready-to-eat Parfait Greek yogurt products co-created by Starbucks and Danone for exclusive distribution in the U.S. Starbucks will offer the products through its stores in spring 2014, and Danone in grocery channels in 2015. The companies are planning to extend distribution to include targeted markets around the world in a second phase that builds upon the success of the U.S. initiative.
“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 chief executive officer. “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.”
“With a fast-growing but still low penetration of the yogurt category, the U.S. remains a key growth opportunity for Danone,” said Danone chief executive officer 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.”
Beyond this initiative, Starbucks and Danone will seek additional ways to leverage joint opportunities across other products and markets in the months to come.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.