General Mills (NYSE: GIS) has confirmed that Yoplait SAS has reached an agreement to terminate the current Yoplait brand license in Canada effective September 1, 2012. At that time, General Mills Canada will begin to market, sell, and distribute Yoplait yogurt products in Canada under license from Yoplait SAS.
The current Canadian licensee, Ultima Foods, will continue to produce Yoplait-branded products to be sold by General Mills Canada under a multi-year manufacturing agreement.
The yogurt category in Canada generates $1.2 billion (Canadian) in annual retail sales, and Yoplait holds a 28% market share. With the addition of this business, General Mills will rank among the five largest food companies in Canada, with leading brand positions across a number of key frozen and refrigerated categories.
Yoplait SAS also directly owns and operates the Liberte yogurt business in Canada. Liberte holds an 8% value share of the Canadian yogurt market, and is the leading brand in Canada’s fast-emerging Greek yogurt segment.