Monday, September 7, 2015

Yogurt Drink - Product Research

It began in class, when I decided I wanted to do a yogurt drink product.

Yogurt, yoghurt, or yoghourt (/ˈjoʊɡərt/ or /ˈjɒɡət/; from Turkish: yoğurt) is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as "yogurt cultures". Fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tang. Worldwide, cow's milk, the protein of which is mainly casein, is most commonly used to make yogurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, and yaks, however, is also used to produce yogurt in various parts of the world. Sweetened yogurt drinks are the usual form in Europe (including the UK) and the US, containing fruit and added sweeteners. These are typically called "drinking / drinkable yogurt". (source: Wikipedia)

Berry Yogurt. (Source: Google)

I really wanted to do a drink instead of food, because in comparison, although still a lot, there are less types of packaging for drinks than for food. When it comes to food, there's still work to do - pouring hot water on instant noodles or ripping an aluminium packaging then figuring out how to store it. While drinks, well... you just drink it and dispose; maybe screw the cap back on. How much lazier can you get? Another reason I chose drinks is because the target audience is wider - anyone can drink a drink, as long as the type of drink and packaging fits the purpose. So for my yogurt drink, my target audience is families.

Families are people who are connected to each other and can consist of multiple age groups. This is both a pro and a con because even though there are higher chances that health concerned-families will buy the product for any or every member of the family, it will also be hard to satisfy all age groups with its design.

There are other problems that come with drinks - especially yogurt drinks, as it is fermented milk (read: only stores for 3 days  max without a refrigerator); because there are so many types of drinks that fit so many different types of audiences. So the first few things that came to mind were the best type of storage for it and the design of the bottle.

After a bit of research, yogurt drinks are commonly stored in plastic bottles, in comparison to its cousin, the milk, which are also stored in glass bottles, cartons and boxes. A recently popular yogurt drink product by Yeo's though have taken a brave approach and decided to sell their product in boxes. It does seem more conducive, as people finish it a lot faster than bottle drinks, even if the difference in amount is just 50ml. So since it is not a common thing to do, and families often store yogurt drinks in their refrigerator, I chose to have my product be stored in plastic bottles (#1 type / PET or #2 type / HDPE). There will be two sizes: 700ml (for long-term storing) and 200ml (for on-the-go).

For the design, I first wanted to give a soft, pastel approach, to fit the sweet and sour taste of yogurt drinks. I was also inspired by the commonly minimalist design of sparkling water packaging.

Wine-look and different transparencies - very exclusive.

A more sporty design.

Glass bottles and metal caps - classic look.

Unique shape for an energizing drink.

However, the soft and translucent colors are often incorporated with the elegance and delicacy of the female audience, hence may not be suitable for families. As Ms. Ida said, I can't compare yogurt drinks with sparkling water, as each has their own audiences. Therefore, I will try to incorporate pastel with a brighter look to attract families with a friendly and fruity approach instead of exclusivity.

So to find out what Malaysian families prefer for their daily dairy buzz (hah) I decided to go shopping for yogurt drinks (only). I had fifty bucks in my wallet, a supermarket a kilometer walk away, no friend and no phone (at that moment) (but I was in a rush to get things done so I went anyway).

As a yogurt drink fan myself, I never really took notice of the brands available. I trusted Bliss as my family is a regular in grabbing the 700ml bottles every once in a while we pass by the dairy section in the supermarket. However, it surprised me when I realized there were many competing brands alongside it. There was a green brand that I remember were the close competitor of Bliss, but I can't seem to find it on the shelves anymore. Probably sunk out? Other (bigger) companies (that had other products they would still profit from), however, have decided that they'd try their luck. The diversity in design in Malaysian products are narrow, though.

My favorite - apparently. How mainstream of me I am ashamed.
Was this the green brand that I forgot...? If so then they just changed packaging HAH.

An old version. If they didn't sell, then it scares me more to use anything other than plastic bottles.

Common bottle shapes.

Friendly-looking and cheap - a common option for families.

I bought 7 bottles of yogurt drinks that day - six of which were 700ml or above and one small Bliss (because that was the only one available in a small bottle sob). Can you imagine me carrying all that back to my dorm on feet? hahahaAAHAHha I almost broke my fingers tbh but it's okay because I didn't and that's all that matters!!!
I also bought two more smaller-sized bottles later for my on-the-go product prototype - one 200ml and the other 300ml. 

Don't ask where the Bliss went.
As we can see, commonly, Malaysian yogurt drink products aim for a bright, splashing look, with manipulated pictures of the fruit of flavor. The colors are bright and solid, and fonts are usually slanted to give a more feminine look. A trend in yogurt drink bottles is the curvy shape - some say it's to represent the female body after weight loss (which is usually the purpose of yogurt drinks) but it also has its practicality - often, it helps with grip, too. The only ones not following this trend is Farm Fresh, Sunglo and Giant. Although there are attractions to these types, I find that some can be exaggerated and look awkward instead. Not to mention the beauty expectations set up for women - how sexist and discriminating!

Packaging Research - told you not to ask bout the Bliss.

So from this break down of elements of a bottle wrap, there are a few things that are commonly found on a yogurt drink packaging. The company logo and product names are a must, alongside other elements such as production or expiry date, barcode, nutritional facts, net weight, ingredients and other logos such as the Halal logo. Other optional elements that Malaysian products usually have are a manipulated photo, brand promise and a translated version on the other side.

For my products, I decided to use Farm Fresh bottles. It not only has the translucency that can help with the design I'm aiming for, but also the square shape shall help me promote a friendlier, more family-oriented design. It will also be easier for me to make a wrap-around nyaha.

The front

The back

The cute version <3 much kawaii
Yogurt drinks are rarely found in plain flavors - mostly because not many people favor the sourish taste of yogurt. So to make this healthy drink more popular,  they incorporated fruit flavors. There are so many fruits out there that could be made into a drink. However, the flavors that I wanted to use had to serve it's purpose - it had to help with weight loss.

After Googling the many possibilities, I also decided I wanted to explore flavors that are not widely used by yogurt drink products here in Malaysia, although still well known. The more common flavors in Malaysia are berries and tropical fruits. Therefore, I chose five flavors - grapefruit (a less popular but actually more beneficial option as a citrus fruit), banana (tropical fruit, but not too common as a yogurt drink flavor), kiwi, coconut and blueberries (an essential berry flavor). With these 5 flavors I get to explore various colors for my product as well as attract audiences of different backgrounds.

Other references:

Simple packaging for family audiences.
Minimalist approach.

So with that ends my product research (for now). Future updates will be posted and until then, take care ^^)v

-Elyna Mahzan, out.

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