Inner Mongolia's Yili Industrial Group Co. Ltd. is causing a sensation with two new UHT yogurt drinks. The two “Baoquzhu”-branded beverages, packed in combiblocSmall 250 ml from SIG Combibloc (, contain alginate balls filled with juice, which burst in the mouth when gently chewed. The result: an extra portion of fruity drinking pleasure. These yogurt drinks are available in apple and strawberry flavors. Produced using the drinksplus solution from SIG Combibloc, they have taken Yili to a new level in the field of beverages with perceptible added value.

These innovative products were developed specially for teenagers, who place a high value on fun and new experiences, even when it comes to food and beverages. “UHT yogurt drinks with filled alginate balls are an innovation in the beverage and dairy products sector. The local market is invigorated by new product developments that offer added value for consumers – for example, with new taste experiences. That’s why we believe the combination of yogurt and fruit in the form of small balls fits ideally with the joy of experimentation and curiosity typical of teenagers. And it will offer them plenty of amusement. It took less than two years to progress from product idea to market launch. That’s fast, considering that there were no empirical values to draw on, in terms of either manufacturing the filled alginate balls or the technology to process them," says Eric Ding, head of marketing Asia Pacific North at SIG Combibloc.

Finally, the innovative beverages were filled using the drinksplus solution from SIG Combibloc, which Yili has already used for other trendy UHT beverages in aseptic carton packs. The drinksplus solution makes it possible to fill products containing up to 10% solid pieces using standard beverage filling machines from SIG Combibloc, e.g. drinks with nata de coco and now also with alginate balls with juice in liquid form inside them. The standard filling machines are fitted with an easy-to-install upgrade kit for this purpose, consisting of valves, valve stems and filling nozzles, which are tailor made for ensuring the best possible product flow when filling beverages with particulates. Wide straws with a diameter of six millimeters are provided to make sure that these products can be easily drunk from the packs.

Comprehensive campaign

The designs used for the carton packs have been selected to ensure the appropriate market presence for these beverage innovations – combining bright, jazzy colors with the refinement of black: a state-of-the-art presentation that will stand out on the retail shelves. The market launch is accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign involving TV, magazines and online social media channels. Yili has drawn on the services of actor and singer Jay Chou for its campaign – Chou is known in Asia mainly for his R&B and rap songs. Including him in the advertising campaign will appeal to the buying instincts of younger consumers in particular.