More than a third of new products launched in the US yogurt market in the year to September 2013 featured protein claims, according to new data from Innova Market Insights.
To put this into perspective, just over 6% on yogurt launches in Western Europe were marketed on a protein platform over the same period, with “only the UK really showing the beginning of a similar trend to that in the US”, said Innova's director of innovation Lu Ann Williams.
“The rise of Greek and Greek-style strained yogurts, which are inherently higher in protein than standard lines, has paved the way for the positioning of yogurts on a high-protein platform.
“Although most of these are also ‘probiotic,’ once also a key marketing positioning, problems over health claims in this area have caused companies to divert attention away from digestive health in many instances; often toward nutrient content.
"This has tended to lead to a focus on the higher protein content of Greek-style products, alongside the traditional focus on their creamy and indulgent image.”
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In the US in particular, there have also been a number of launches appealing specifically to men, particularly those interested in fitness, such as Powerful Yogurt, featuring a ‘man-sized’ 8oz cup and 25g protein per pot, she said.
“Other developments include the launch of frozen yogurt options with a high-protein positioning, such as ProYo in the US, and other strained (but not Greek or Greek-style) high-protein yogurt options.
“These include Smari Icelandic yogurt brand, which was launched in the US in mid-2013 and a new Protein variant of General Mills’ Yoplait Go Gurt children’s hand-held yogurt brand; offering twice the protein of the standard range.”