Lifeway CEO provides ‘2.0’ update, talks moving into dairy alternative space

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After launching the plan in 2018​, Lifeway has more recently been able to “start really monetizing this awareness that [it] created,​” Smolyansky said. Looking at the company’s most recent financials, Lifeway saw a 29.1% increase​ in net sales year-over-year, reaching $38.1 million for the third quarter of 2022, ending Sept. 30, 2022.

Expanding into non-dairy drinkable yogurts

As part of this overall 2.0 business strategy, Lifeway acquired GlenOaks Farms in 2021, which broadened “the portfolio and consumer reach of Lifeway,​” and allowed the brand to move into the non-dairy drinkable yogurt category​.

Last year, Lifeway made progress towards the innovating for on-the-go consumers part of its plan by releasing Lifeway Organic Oat, a fermented oat drink that is currently available in six flavors​: Plain, Blueberry Maple, Strawberry Vanilla, Peach, Mixed Berry, and Vanilla. This beverage can also be purchased from Whole Foods, Kroger, and Ralphs.

Capitalizing on probiotic awareness and pandemic shifts

Lifeway also continues to raise awareness for its products, while also tapping into larger awareness around probiotics.

For the broader market, more consumers today are familiar with probiotics than ever been before, which has helped Lifeway’s business, Smolyansky noted. For instance, she shared research from bioscience company Chr. Hansen​ that reported 75% of over 15,000 global consumers surveyed said that they were “very” or “somewhat familiar” with probiotics.

Lifeway further bolstered awareness for probiotics throughout the pandemic by shifting attention away from in-store demos to digital marketing, including “buying AdWords and space on Instacart and Amazon​,” Smolyansky said. And through its marketing and digital marketing efforts, Lifeway was able to achieve a high degree of brand loyalty, with 71% of Lifeway consumers being repeat customers, she added.

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