General Mills hopes for yogurt conquest with China debut of Yoplait


General Mills apparently thinks there's "gold in them thar hills" in China, at least where its yogurt business is concerned.

The Twin Cities-based food giant is introducing its popular Yoplait line in Shanghai on Monday, according to an announcement on its website.

The three new varieties – Perle de lair, Panier de fruits, and O'Fruit– arrive at an auspicious time in the world's most populous country, where yogurt is a $10 billion category, General Mills says.

What's more, sales for yogurt are growing at a "double-digit pace" in China.

According to the company, their rollout marks the largest expansion of Yoplait since General Mills purchased a controlling interest in the French brand in 2011.

“With the tremendous economic growth in China, consumers are increasingly demanding better quality and experience of foods,” said Gary Chu, an official with General Mills Greater China. “Chinese consumers like the health benefits of yogurt and we are thrilled to add Yoplait products to our growing portfolio of brands..."

Their sales strategy calls for a slow burn, with the products set for an eventual debut outside Shanghai on a "city-by-city basis," the Star Tribune reports.

Meanwhile, the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal notes the Yogurt invasion is yet another step in General Mills's investment in China, with the company having opened a $15 million "Innovation Center" there last summer.

The Flavors

Described by the Business Journal as "tailored to Chinese tastes," the three flavors are hitting the shelves in convenience stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, a term for combined grocery and department stores.

General Mills says Perle de lait is a thick and creamy "French-style yogurt," while the aptly named Panier de fruits falls into the "fruit on the bottom" category.

Lastly, O'Fruit is a "drinkable yogurt with big fruit pieces" requiring an extra-large sipping straw.

The company says they'll be produced at a facility in a Shanghai suburb under the same processes used in France.

Next Up


Eagan-based Villaume Industries pays $90K fine in gender discrimination case

After the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found the company refused to hire women, Villaume committed to reforms


11 more people charged in massive magazine scam plead guilty

In total, 63 people from across the U.S. were charged in what prosecutors called the "largest elder fraud scheme in the nation."

Alex Stalock

Wild goalie Alex Stalock claimed off waivers by Oilers

The South St. Paul native will be heading to Edmonton.

Mortensen becker-finn

Shakopee GOPer posts DFL lawmaker's personal cell number on Facebook

Rep. Erik Mortensen has been accused of 'doxxing' Twin Cities lawmaker Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn.

derek chauvin

Minneapolis scraps plan to pay 'influencers' to share information during Chauvin trial

The plan to pay influencers to share city-approved messages during the trials of the officers charged in George Floyd's death drew criticism.


Toddler called 911 and said 'baby' was dead, turned out to be her doll

We're checking into whether the doll is named 'Chucky.'

Target Center

NCAA Women's Final Four 2022 will be held in Minneapolis

The NCAA unveiled the logo for the 2022 Final Four on Monday.


As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.


Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run in St. Paul Sunday evening

The incident occurred near the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street.


General Mills to launch new yogurt

Golden Valley-based General Mills will start shipping more than three dozen new yogurt products next month as it tries to revitalize its U.S. yogurt business. Some of the new items include a 100-calorie Yoplait Greek yogurt and Yoplait Fruplait.

General Mills to open fifty new Häagen-Dazs shops in China

The Golden Valley-based company plans to bring the number of ice cream shops in China to 255 over the next year. General Mills owns Häagen-Dazs globally, but the brand is licensed to Nestlé in the U.S. and Canada.

Ready to say bonjour to French yogurt? General Mills hopes so

French is taking on Greek in a fight for yogurt supremacy.