Since hitting the Western United States last July, Alove® yogurt has been expanding its reach and riding the tide of an aloe vera-based food fad that’s fast turning what was once a curiosity into a hallmark of consumers’ diets.
I reached out to Colleen Sherfey, Senior Director of Marketing for the Alove brand and Morinaga Nutritional Foods, to learn more about the challenges and rewards of educating consumers and growing a burgeoning brand and category.
“One taste and consumers are sold—they love it. ‘Educating’ is in some ways not necessary, as the popularity of aloe vera beverages—sales up 33 percent from 2017—has been paving the way,” Colleen explained. “Morinaga Nutritional Foods is actively promoting the brand via PR, online advertising, radio, social media marketing, promotions, and importantly, sampling via our experiential campaign and the Alove Truck. Just two weeks ago we gave out more than 25,000 samples to consumers at LA's popular 626 Night Market event.”
With aloe vera-based foods growing precipitously over the course of the last year, Alove is positioned to help retailers capitalize on a healthy and novel category. Colleen tells me the company’s products are currently carried in more than 800 stores from coast to coast—including Ralph's, Albertsons, Hy-Vee, 99-Ranch, Mitsuwa, Bristol Farms, La Superior, Food 4 Less, and a variety of Asian and Hispanic specialty stores.
“Aloe vera as a consumable is no longer a curiosity; it is mainstream and growing fast, and we can thank the aloe vera beverage companies for helping to blaze that trail,” Colleen added. “Our recent research shows consumers have very positive perceptions of aloe vera, even if they are curious about the taste. In our case, one taste of Alove yogurt is enough. Not only do they love the taste and texture of the aloe vera, our Japanese-style yogurt is a pleasant surprise, too, with it's smooth and creamy dessert-like quality. It's a real treat!”
Alove yogurt is currently available in 6 oz cups in flavors including Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach, Vanilla, Kiwi, and Aloe Vera. And the company has a line of Drinkable Low Fat Yogurt in 7 oz bottles, with flavors include Strawberry-Banana, Coconut, and Aloe Vera, slated to hit shelves next year.
For more on new and exciting product offerings in the dairy, deli, bakery, and specialty food space, keep reading Deli Market News.