In its 2012 report, Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks – US, Mintel said that given the fact that the US population is aging rapidly and obesity rates remain very high, demand for yogurt and other better for you (BFY) snacks will “undoubtedly remain quite strong.”
According to the report sent to DairyReporter.com, retail sales of frozen, drinkable and spoonable yogurt increased 7.5% to nearly $6.4bn (€4.9bn) in 2011 - “impressive growth” Mintel has largely attributed to sales of Greek yogurt.
Mintel also estimated that US retail sales of yogurt would reach $7bn (€5.3bn) in 2012, and grow at a rate of between 5.4% and 7.3% per year to 2017.
Americans “aspiring to live a healthier lifestyle”
“One key driver of category growth is the fact that millions of Americans are aspiring to live a healthier lifestyle,” said the Mintel report.
“At the same time, many are unwilling to compromise on flavour and convenience, two factors that have a primary influence on most food decisions.”
Unsurprisingly, spoonable Greek yogurt plays a “key role” in driving the overall category growth.
“Clearly, spoonable Greek yogurt is playing a key role in driving overall category growth at the present time and will continue to do so in the near term,” said Mintel.
“Moreover, manufacturers are increasingly introducing new and innovative Greek products such as frozen Greek yogurt and Greek yogurt with kid-friendly packaging.”
New York-based Chobani has taken its popular Greek yogurt concept in a “unique direction” through the introduction of Chobani Champions – a range of low-fat Greek yogurt products designed specifically for children.
Greek yogurt “extensions” will play key role
“Products such as this could become more popular in the future as parents across the nation continue to seek out low-fat, low-calorie SKUs that are tasty and are housed in packaging that is likely to be well-received by kids.”
Mintel also pinpointed frozen Greek yogurt as another key opportunity for yogurt manufacturers – identifying Ben & Jerry’s as one of the first companies to capitalise on the anticipated popularity of frozen Greek yogurt.
“These types of line extensions are likely to become more common in the latter half of 2012 and 2013 as companies increasingly seek ways to capitalise on the Greek yogurt trend.”
“These developments and other indicate that Greek line extensions are likely to play a key role in driving sales growth in 2012 and 2013, and perhaps longer.”