Yoplait Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

 Yoplait Case Solution


Yoplait’s major concern is the absence of a marketing strategy which can be used for positioning its yogurt in the American market which is fragmented in different segments. With the American user being concerned about his dietary intake, an appropriate positioning strategy is required for competing against the local brands especially since they have built brand loyalty over the years and enjoy significant market shares.

Yoplait enjoys a high market share in the yogurt market but even the inability of the brand to meet the profitability targets set by General Mills over the last two years are being seen as a major concern for the consumer foods subsidiary of the company. With the yogurt market on the rise, the product is seen as one which can lead to incremental revenues over the years but an appropriate marketing strategy is required for achieving that position in the American market.

Problem Statement

In the competitive US market where Yogurt brands are positioned towards different segments, General Mills needs a positioning strategy for its brand Yoplait. The current strategy lacks distinct positioning and has been unable to meet the revenue and profitability targets set by General Mills for its acquired brand of French yogurt.

Analysis of External Environment: Porter’s five Forces Analysis: American Yogurt Industry

For understanding the competitive rivalry in the American Yogurt market we need to analyze the industry using Porter’s five forces analysis. This will help in identifying where the stronger force lies in the industry. In order to generate strategies which will work effectively in a specific market, this analysis is important for an appropriate marketing mix. (Porter, 2013).

For instance, yogurt itself can have three types of substitutes such as whole milk yogurt, low fat yogurt and non-fat yogurt. In addition to this, fat free alternatives like salad dressings and cream cheese can also be alternatives to yogurt when the need arises. For those who take yogurt as a snack or breakfast item, it has substitutes in the form of other breakfast options and snacks which may be readily available or cooked at home. So when it comes to the threat of substitutes, the market is full of products which can be substituted for one form of yogurt or another.

Degree of rivalry: Speaking of the threat of substitutes, the competitive rivalry in the yogurt market itself is intense because of the different available brands in the market. However, the major differentiating factor is the positioning strategy that has been chosen by each of these brands to create brand loyalty in a particular segment. For instance, players like Dannon with 32.8% of the market share have positioned themselves as healthy snacks and have used differentiation in the form of selective distribution by eliminating warehouses from the channel. Similarly,Kraft has focused on two specific market segments with a major focus on natural taste and superior quality of their product.

Bargaining power of the supplier: The bargaining power of the supplier in the yogurt industry is low if the various options and alternatives in the market are considered. However, brand loyalty will increase the bargaining power of a brand and with an appropriate positioning strategy; a brand could influence the buyer and become part of their regular daily intake.

Bargaining power of the buyer: The bargaining power of the buyer in the yogurt industry is high given the fact that he has various options to choose from and has alternatives in the form of substitutes for yogurt. With a greater orientation of the buyer towards health foods, yogurt brands which offer greater nourishment without the potential harms such as sodium, fat, calories and cholesterol are preferred and so the buyer would have a lower bargaining power for such brands. This suggests that the regular American user who is conscious about his dietary intake would have a lower bargaining power for brands which are positioned well in the health conscious market........................

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