Americans turn to yogurt drinks to satisfy thirst for innovation


Yogurt drinks include all refrigerated yogurt products in liquid and drinkable form. These products can include fruit or fruit flavors; including yogurt “Smoothies”,kefir, lassi, etc.

Spoonful yogurt still dominates

Valued at $ 8.3 billion, scoop yogurt still accounts for the majority of sales in the yogurt industry and is expected to grow steadily to reach $ 10 billion in sales by 2021.

In terms of overall sales, the yogurt and yogurt drink market is expected to grow 3% in 2016 to reach $ 9.1 billion, with total sales expected to reach $ 11.4 billion in 2021. Today , about 66% of American adults buy spoon-fed yogurt, while 30% buy yogurt drinks.

The popularity of Greek yogurt is fading

Greek yogurt has been known as the industry darling, but innovation in once-exotic cultivated food is slowing as consumers seek innovation.

Several companies showcased their drinkable yogurt approach, including complementing their existing Greek spoonful yogurt products, such as the recent addition of drinkable yogurt products by Borden Dairy under the LALA brand in July 2016.

“As the boom periods ushered in by novelty Greek yogurt fade away, the practical health appeal of the yogurt category and the recent expansion in flavors and formats are helping to maintain interest and maintain the participation in the market. Yogurt drinks are becoming more and more popular among US consumers, and as the adoption of the yogurt drink segment grows, so does innovation. ”said Beth Bloom, senior analyst, US Food & Drink at Mintel.

“This is one of the few restaurant spaces where the launch activity sees brand new products outperforming simple variations in shape.”

From breakfast to afternoon tea

When it comes to eating occasions, an overwhelming number of yogurt / yogurt drinkers (93%) consume it for breakfast.

However, the yogurt market appears to be gaining traction in the snack space, with one in 10 yogurt / yogurt drink users reporting consuming these products as a snack. The format of yogurt drinks also lends itself to convenience, fitting into the active lifestyles of many consumers.

Mintel research shows that today more consumers choose yogurt as a snack than in previous years, as 84% ​​choose yogurt as a morning or afternoon snack (respectively), compared to 37% who choose yogurt as a morning or afternoon snack (respectively). ‘chose as a morning snack and 41% who nibbled in the afternoon in 2014.

“A growing acceptance of yogurt as a snack creates a huge opportunity for the market given the importance of snacks in American diets. As a result, we see product innovation expanding to include formats that suit non-breakfast occasions, including tasty and satisfying varieties, ” Bloom said.

Health is the main motivation for buying

Wellness is a strong motivator in buying yogurt products, and most American consumers seem to be aware of the digestive benefits associated with cultivated foods like yogurt.

According to Mintel research, 43% of U.S. yogurt consumers purchase the cultured product for digestive health reasons.

The growing acceptance of certain fats in foods has led to the increasing popularity of whole yogurt products, with consumers perceiving low fat yogurt as obsolete. “Dietetic foods”.

“Fat-containing varieties are seeing strong sales growth in natural channels, while fat-free options are struggling, indicating a growing acceptance of fat in foods. As consumers seem increasingly interested in the functional benefits of their foods and drinks, communicating how yogurt and yogurt drinks can contribute to these health needs will be a way to stand out from the crowd, ” Flower added.

About Thomas B. Countryman

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