After over 20 years of success in its New Zealand homeland, not to mention strong growth in Australia and China, EasiYo, the market leader in make-at-home yogurt, is now intent on replicating this success in the UK with the launch of a new maker and an extensive marketing, PR and social media campaign, as Brian Dewar, CEO, recently explained to FMCG.
“We’re on a global growth mission after the growth we’ve seen in New Zealand, Australia and, more recently, China,” says Mr Dewar. “We’ve built a good business base in the UK supported by our trade partners but we’ve really never given it a push in terms of a concentrated consumer education programme. We’re very keen to embark on this process and drive up the number of UK consumers making yogurt at home. Currently about one per cent of the UK yogurt market make the product at home through the EasiYo system, whereas in New Zealand that percentage is around six per cent. Our ambition therefore is to get many more people in the UK making yogurt at home. It’s a well-kept secret and it’s up to us to get out there and educate many more people about the benefits of making yogurt at home.”
Available in more than 20 countries worldwide, EasiYo has sold over 2.5m units across the globe with half of all homes in its native New Zealand owning an EasiYo yoghurt maker. Since launching in the UK in 1999, EasiYo has sold more than 600,000 units to British customers. With production now ramping up, the company is committed to further expanding its influence in the UK.
Part of the EasiYo’s popularity in other markets has stemmed from the convenience involved in the process, as Mr Dewar outlines: “First and foremost we’re on-trend in that people want to get back to the quick and easy way of making food at home. Convenience is king and our product is very quick and easy. It’s also a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen and the perfect way to teach them about how food is produced. The whole ‘homemade goodness’ aspect is another key factor because no stabilisers or additives are required when yogurt is made at home, as it doesn’t have to survive in a modern supermarket supply chain for weeks on end. Instead consumers can make it fresh at home and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks. From a health perspective, with any yogurt the good bacteria within it are dying from the day it is made, so the fresher the yogurt the higher volume of healthy bacteria there is in it. If it’s eaten within the first couple of days the yogurt is packed full of billions of live cultures, much more than a supermarket-bought product.”
“Currently about one per cent of the UK yogurt market make the product at home through the EasiYo system, whereas in New Zealand that percentage is around six per cent. Our ambition therefore is to get many more people in the UK making yogurt at home. It’s a well-kept secret and it’s up to us to get out there and educate many more people about the benefits of making yogurt at home.”
Brian Dewar, CEO
In addition to the convenience aspect, these health benefits dovetail nicely with the growing consumer focus on healthier living. There’s always been a high awareness of the benefits of yogurt and making the product from fresh really underlines this strength.
Supplementing the marketing push, EasiYo has also produced its first new maker since the creation of the original model 22 years ago. “We decided it was time to contemporise both the form and the function of the model,” says Mr Dewar. “It took about 18 months to develop and since the improvements consumers are more inclined to leave it out on the kitchen bench, which in turn reminds them to keep making yogurt.”
The new striking design is now being pushed through various leading UK retail outlets such as QVC, Lakeland, Holland and Barrett, Wilko’s, The Range, Ocado, Hobby Craft, and a number of independent stores. Following the development of the new maker, EasiYo will continue to proactively keep bringing through innovative new flavours to ensure that consumer interest remains high.
“On the back of the marketing push we’re driving forward with, in the next 12 months we hope to see our business treble,” concludes Mr Dewar. “With the potential within the marketplace we are more than confident this is achievable and we have bolstered our team and our warehousing and office facilities to further support these growth plans.”