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Health push cultivates yogurt

A consumer push for healthier snacks has led to an explosion of yogurt sales. Sales of yogurt have increased every year since 2006, according to Mintel. The market research firm expected sales growth to continue, reaching a forecasted $6.9 billion in 2012 and $9.5 billion in 2016.

Greek-style yogurt, one of the fastest-growing foods ever to hit the U.S. market, is leading category growth. The segment accounts for nearly one-quarter of total category sales, according to Mintel’s recent report on the category. Greek yogurt’s low-fat, high-protein nutritional profile has made it popular with health-conscious consumers who are willing to pay a premium for the product.

Agro Farma’s Chobani brand has seen spectacular growth and is the category leader, and Dannon/Stonyfield Farm’s Oikos also has shown significant double-digit sales growth. Premium pricing within the Greek segment has given a lift to the entire category.

Mintel’s report indicated that consumers are willing to spend on premium yogurt, and not just Greek style. Even conventional yogurt brands, such as General Mills’ Yoplait, have met little consumer resistance to price increases since they are seen as “good-for-you.” Portable yogurts, particularly Yoplait’s Go-Gurt, remain popular as children’s snacks, and Stonyfield also has launched YoKids Greek yogurt for the younger set.

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Healthy Foods Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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