15 April 2024: Yoplait, the number one kids’ yoghurt brand, has this week unveiled a new campaign featuring TV presenter Josie Gibson and her son Reggie, to highlight a dairy deficit in kid’s diets and to educate parents and carers on the benefits of the calcium and vitamin D rich category.

The campaign, which includes out of home advertising, social, digital, influencer activity and sampling, comes just weeks after the publication of a new report; ‘Kids’ yoghurt and consumers: a relationship turned sour’, commissioned by Yoplait and written by dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton, which addresses the 10-year decline in the kids’ yoghurt and fromage frais category, the devastating implications for children’s future nutritional status and bone health and outlines actions needed to support parents.

In the past decade, calcium intakes in children have fallen significantly and just under a fifth of 4–10 year-olds are clinically deficient in vitamin D1 – to the extent that bone health diseases, such as rickets, are resurfacing again for the first time since the 1950s.2 Children need nutrient-rich foods such as dairy, which make a significant contribution to vitamin D, calcium and protein intakes, to support their bone growth and development. Through its latest report, Yoplait highlights that kids’ yoghurt meets what parents are looking for as an ‘ideal snack’, being nutritious, tasty, filling and fuss-free however despite this, there is a worrying move toward more indulgent and nutrient-poor snacks such as biscuits and chocolate.

The report reveals that a decrease in awareness of the benefits of yoghurt has caused category decline, and Yoplait, the makers of Petits Filous and Frubes, has pledged to debunk damaging myths around the category by re-educating consumers on the nutritional benefits of kids’ yoghurts through this impactful campaign.

“We are excited to unveil this new campaign featuring household favourite, Josie Gibson and her son Reggie, and our full portfolio of products which is aimed at educating on the nutritional value of kid’s yoghurts and challenging the many misconceptions we know have been damaging our category and kids’ health,” explains Yoplait Head of Marketing, Ewa Moxham.

“Our out of home advertising has been strategically placed outside retailers to keep kids’ yoghurt front of mind during shopping trips and our content is geared towards simple yet educational messages for busy parents.”

In addition to supporting children’s health, Yoplait has also highlighted a potential £150m sales opportunity3 for retailers over the next five years if these alarming trends and issues can be reversed and the business is looking to work collaboratively with retail partners on re-engaging shoppers in this important category.

Dietitian Dr Carrie Ruxton said: “Over the last five years, dairy manufacturers have made significant efforts to decrease the sugar content in children’s yoghurt (reducing it by nearly 14 percent).

However, unfortunately, sugar reduction remains an unaddressed challenge for many food and beverage companies and with numerous sugary products still on the market, this could be one of the reasons why children are transitioning from yoghurt to super sweet, high-calorie treats.”

Childhood is a crucial window of opportunity to get bone health right for the future. Children need nutrient-rich foods to support their healthy growth and development, but many adults are put off buying yoghurt for their children because they wrongly believe that there are no health benefits.

“Dairy foods, like yoghurt, pack a highly nutritious punch so it is important that the decline in consumption is not only stopped but reversed. If children continue to replace healthy foods like yoghurt with energy dense, nutrient poor substitutes, the toll on their future health is likely to be significant.”

Notes to editors:

Yoplait’s report is compiled from published scientific studies, Kantar Consumption Panel data and independent polls of more than 2000 shoppers and parents commissioned by Yoplait in spring 2023.

For further information, please contact Sarah Bentley, Head of External Relations sarah.bentley@yoplait.co.uk

1 Public Health England (2020) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 1-11 of the Rolling Programme (2008/09-2018/19). https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-results-from-years-9-to-11-2016-to-2017-and-2018-to-2019

2 NHS England (2022/23), Activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector, https://digital.nhs.uk/supplementary-information/2023/hospital-admissions-with-a-diagnosis-of-rickets-and-vitamin-deficiency

3 Kantar Worldpanel Yoplait Yoghurts Growth Opp 14/06/23, Impact of family participation on yoghurt value – Households with no yoghurt participation in 52 weeks then begin purchasing in kids yoghurt consistently for 52 weeks