The wonders of yogurt: a whole world of culinary culture

The wonders of yogurt: a whole world of culinary culture

What news can we give consumers about yogurt? How can we tell everyone how special this product is, and how many things can be done with it? Hila Elad, Danone Category Manager, talks about the choice of a digital content move

It happened at one of the brainstorming sessions on our new brief for Danone. It was clear that a change of packaging and improvement of the products themselves would not really interest our consumers (and rightly so), so we started to think about what would. What could we tell them about yogurt that they hadn’t heard before? How could we tell them just how special this product is, and that there are so many things you can do with it? 

And then, incidentally, someone said, “In the market in Yehud there’s this great place that serves burekas (savory stuffed pastries that originated in Turkey) with yogurt they make themselves, you just have to taste it”. In a flash, we knew which direction we had to take – there’s a whole culinary world in which yogurt is a key player, sometimes as a side dish (as in the case of the above burekas, which I have yet to taste…), sometimes as a substitute for other ingredients (cream, mayonnaise), and sometimes, as the major raw material (tzaziki, for example).   Suddenly, everybody we talked to told us something new about how in his culture, in his home, yogurt is an inseparable part of the culinary culture: in the Iraqi dish Kichri, with vine leaves and Balkan pastries, to counteract the spiciness of Indian food, et cetera, et cetera. This realization – that yogurt is far more than a product in carton that is eaten with a spoon and has a whole variety of uses in different cuisines – is what led us to the decision to launch a marketing move that would place this wonderful product in the center and tell everyone about all these delicious, accessible options.

So we already had the “big idea”, but deciding on the method is no less crucial. How do we communicate this message to our consumers in a way they will find interesting, relevant and credible?   The choice of a digital content move was relevant and natural, in the spirit of the times, as was the understanding that we must start with the origins – the cultures in which yogurt is an inseparable part of the local cuisine, and first of all, Greece, which is also the birthplace of our brand, Danone.

 

 

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This realization – that yogurt is far more than a product in carton that is eaten with a spoon and has a whole variety of uses in different cuisines

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The brand, as you have noticed, is not the heart of the story in this move, which is a big change for us as manufacturers and marketers. But we started with the belief that as category leaders, it is our job to explain the wonders of yogurt to consumers. On the other hand, obviously the brand is not hiding behind the move but is integrated in it with a candid, delicate touch. Our belief was – and is – that as market leaders and as the firm that delivers the best products that this market has to offer, the consumer will ultimately choose us.

 

And so we set out, with an international chef (Moshik Roth) who lives and breathes the culinary arts, lives and works in a country where per capita consumption of yogurt is the highest (Holland), and really, really eats yogurt every day! To create a balance and also give the journey a humoristic dimension, we added an inquisitive comic (Lior Duvdevani). It took just a moment for the two to bond as a fantastic duo who made a week-long trip to Greece and France, where we experienced places, tastes, many long hours of filming, lots of laughs, and the true friendship that was born between the two.   You can find the products of the journey on YouTube in the form of a five-episode web series, all of which are accompanied by a rich content zone on Mako called "The Yogurt Way", which features recipes, clips and tips.   Was the move successful? You be the judge...   And if, by chance, you visit the market in Yehud, please give us a call and tell us what you thought of the burekas with yogurt.