Cake flavored yogurt back in favor

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk

There are signs of a US revival of cake-flavored dairy products with the launch of a range of new yogurts, following on from a trend which peaked in Europe a few years ago.

General Mills is introducing a series of new flavors including strawberry shortcake, raspberry cheesecake and pineapple upside-down cake, to its Yoplait brand, which it claims is a leader in the yogurt market.

They will be available nation-wide next month and follow a trend for cake flavors in dairy products that had been more popular in Europe in previous years, according to figures from Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD).

A Mintel spokesperson said: “Looking at it by region, most of the activity has been in Europe, suggesting that it was a typical flavor profile trend that grew and declined over the period of a couple of years, in one region, and has (maybe) now popped up elsewhere.”

A GNPD search for apple pie, biscuit, cheesecake, cookies & cream, macaroon, shortbread, apple strudel, gingerbread, cookie, apple crumble, cake, carrot cake and biscotti flavors came up with 247 new product launches in the dairy category since 2003.

The majority, 147 of them, were in Europe, compared to 46 in North America, 27 in Asia Pacific, 14 in Latin America and 13 in the Middle East and Africa.

Overall, 200 of the products were in the spoonable yogurt category, followed by 34 in the flavored milk category, with 11 new drinking yogurts and liquid cultured milk, one soy yogurt and one soy-based drink.

Mintel said the results indicated that spoonable yogurt, which accounted for most launches, “peaked globally as a trend in 2005, with a renewed ‘blip’ in 2007, and not much activity in 2008”.

Previous products launched include Danone Cremoso’s Strawberry Cheesecake Liquid Yogurt, which was introduced in Portugal in 2005. And Müller Light’s Lemon Cheesecake Flavor Yogurt with Cake Pieces, which was introduced in the UK in 2005.

Snacking trends

In the US, the market for yogurt is worth $2.9 billion. As well as Yoplait, General has another yogurt brand, Colombo.

The Yoplait Light yogurts with sweet cake flavors are said to be “better-for-you”​ than the real thing and fat-free. They are intended as a “smart snacking”​ option so that “health-conscious consumers enjoy everyday indulgences without the guilt”.

National dietary research from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) shows that traditional meal patterns in the US are rapidly changing, with the average American snacking more than twice a day and consuming more than 240 calories per snack.

The idea behind the yogurts is as a snack that can satisfy a craving and provide important nutrients without a lot of calories.

A six oz cup of Yoplait Light Pineapple Upside-Down Cake yogurt contains 110 calories and no grams of fat. Each serving also contains 20 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium and vitamin D.

General Mills highlights the comparison between this and a slice of traditional pineapple upside-down cake from the bakery or dessert menu, which it says delivers on average 367 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Related topics: Suppliers, Dairy-based ingredients

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