Case study 83 muller

Muller, a successful German yoghurt brand, established a UK operation in 1987, launching its two brands Muller Fruit Corner and Muller Crunch Corner into the UK market the following year. By 1990 the brand had captured more than 10% of the UK yoghurt market, becoming market leader ahead of the previously dominant Ski brand from Eden Vale. In 1993 the brand was the clear market leader with a share of 23%. Sales increased from around £75m in the UK in 1992, to over £100m in 1993.

An important tenet of Muller's success was its adoption of a marketing approach contrary to the style used by existing yoghurt brands in the UK. While many other yoghurt brands emphasised health issues such as low fat, live bacteria and real fruit, Muller brought new momentum to the market with a product that was high in calories and sold as an indulgence product. In 1993 Joanna Lumley was used in the £5m 'pure and sinful' campaign that was seen by industry commentators as a welcome break from the 'squeaky clean' yoghurt marketing campaigns of the past. Muller also sponsors Aston Villa football club.

The rest of the market soon followed Muller's lead: there have been recent launches of 'twin-pot' yoghurt by own-label suppliers and other brands, as well as an increase in yoghurts marketed as indulgence treats rather than as a means of abstaining from calories.

Source: Samways and Whittcome7

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