Identifying new growth occasions for Danone

As dairy declined in France, Danone turned to Kantar to help understand the 'breakfast' opportunity better - with impressive results.



As tastes and eating patterns change over time, brands need to re-evaluate their offer in order to stay relevant to consumers. For Danone, the decline of the dairy sector in France was affecting its growth potential. 

The issue for Danone was to look beyond their competitors and current consumption occasions. It was important to quantify the different occasions at which dairy products are consumed, and then to specifically understand the breakfast opportunity: who is consuming the products, where, why and what with. 


By taking a wide view of family consumption patterns, our team was able to identify a significant opportunity at the breakfast occasion. Combining both people’s behaviour as a whole and then understanding how this differed by demographic group, revealed some strong, actionable insights for Danone, who used this intelligence to fuel future growth.

Our Usage data, which is where a family keeps a seven day diary of their consumption, was key to understanding consumer behaviour and spotting opportunities for this sector. 


The analysis revealed that there are 32 million occasions per week when a dairy product is consumed at breakfast, which makes it the second most important after dessert. It was also possible to identify some particular rules to help Danone capitalise on the breakfast occasion: Firstly, connect marketing with the other categories consumed with yoghurt at breakfast such as fruit, cereal and juices. Secondly, make the health benefits clear in communications. And finally, create specific products for different audiences, such as drinkable formats for the under-25 year age group; or plain yoghurt with real fruit for the 35-year plus age group, using the Activia and Danone brands.


Using these insights, Danone created a new communications campaign using the tagline “Eat Better” and developed content for their website focused on breakfast and healthy recipes using a yoghurt base. In terms of product development, Danone launched two new brands: Yoothie, which is a yoghurt and fruit drink designed to be consumed on-the-go, and Danone du Monde. The latter was a range of five different products with drinkable and spoonable formats, very original in both their flavours and positioning, and including SKYR, a breakfast-focused product. In addition, they relaunched Activia with new formats that included cereals and used communications to support the new breakfast positioning.

The results were extremely impressive. Activia Cereals was the fourth largest FMCG innovation in 2017/18. Nearly 8% of French households bought this new range and 25% of them were recruited for the power brand Activia. Activia attracted a younger profile with more families due to the poppy seeds and quinoa recipes, which was a really important step for future success. Also, the most successful product in the Danone du Monde range was the breakfast-focused SKYR, as over 1% of French households bought it.

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