The magic combination of health and indulgence continues to drive the market for yoghurts and chilled desserts, according to a new review by Mintel.
Mintel’s update on the global market for yoghurt, soy yoghurt and chilled desserts identifies a 9 per cent increase in product launches in the category over the past year, bolstered by strong demand in Europe.
Based on the top claims made on new product launches, the new data identifies a continued focus on low fat, additive free and organic, but Mintel cautions that indulgence should not be overlooked.
“Healthy low fat, calorie and sugar claims will remain very important, especially in the yoghurt market given that many people think of yoghurt as a healthy option. However people will also want indulgence, and to drive interest, yoghurt should also on occasion emphasise its indulgent side,” writes the analyst.
In an earlier article on Yogurt and Desserts published in March 2010, Mintel describes the “current paradox for the modern consumer: they want to eat and live healthily but they don't want to lose that sense of indulgence which is a necessary adjunct of pleasure.”
However, despite this need for indulgence, data from Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) finds that the top claims in this market focus on health and more specifically the limiting or removal of fat, sugar and calories. This, says the analyst, is driven by consumer concerns about obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.
Europe leads in launches
Europe has dominated product launches in the category, accounting for 65 per cent of new launches during the review period, led by Germany (19 per cent), France (13 per cent) and Italy (10 per cent).
The split between sub-categories was: 53 per cent spoonable yogurt, 46 per cent chilled desserts and 1 per cent soy yoghurt. Top claims used on the products were ‘no additives/preservatives’ (21 per cent), ‘no/low/reduced fat’ (18 per cent) and ‘organic’ (9 per cent).
The new European nutrition and health claims legislation poses a challenge to the functional products in the category, although Mintel says that “products with genuine benefits endorsed by bodies such as the EFSA stand to boost both their credibility and the demand for the products.”
Although soy products still hold a relatively small proportion of the market, Mintel highlights a potential area of growth in its healthy image, suggesting that product marketers should place more focus on gender-specific items.
“Soy yoghurt has an inherently healthy image yet lags behind in this market and so has growth potential if companies better highlight health benefits.”
“Whilst men are more concerned with heart health, women are more likely to turn to soy for weight loss/weight maintenance benefits, and targeting these demographics with specific claims such as these will help to grow both awareness and usage.”