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Foreign yogurt 'jeopardizing the dominance' of Greek yogurt: Datamonitor

Smari Icelandic yogurt is thicker, creamier and contains more protein than Greek yogurt, says Datamonitor.
Smari Icelandic yogurt is thicker, creamier and contains more protein than Greek yogurt, says Datamonitor.

Foreign yogurt concepts, inspired by Icelandic, Australian, and Vietnamese variations, are putting pressure on the increasingly saturated US Greek yogurt market, according to Datamonitor.

In its April 2014 Dairy Product Innovation Update, market intelligence firm Datamonitor said that as the Greek yogurt market has matured, healthy but differentiated foreign yogurt concepts have begun to appear on US dairy aisles.

These products are "jeopardizing the dominance of existing major brands" and will "push Greek yogurt companies to review their marketing strategies to create points of differentiation," said the Update.

Speaking with DairyReporter.com, author of the Update, Datamonitor researcher Louisa Sabin, said that while these products have piggy-backed on the success of Greek yogurt in the States they are offering consumers something extra.

“They are definitely capitalizing on the success of Greek yogurt," she said, "but they’re adding innovative twists."

Yogurt manufacturers looking to differentiate their products in the US are now focusing on three factors, said Sabin - more exciting flavors, additional health benefits, and improved texture.

Flavor, health, texture

Sabin gave Tarte Asian yogurt, a Vietnamese-style, fat-free, high-protein yogurt, as an example. The California-made Tarte range also contains around 25% less sugar and twice as much calcium as flavored Greek yogurt and is available in a range of exotic variations - mango and coconut, strawberry and guanabana, green tea and honey, and acal and blueberry.

The Tarte range would appeal to the increasing number of “experimental consumers" found in the US, said Sabin. 

“We have noticed that there is demand for new flavours because consumers are being exposed to foreign tastes," she said.

Alongside Tarte, Sabin highlighted Icelandic yogurt brand Smari Organic.

The Wisconsin-manufactured yogurt, like other Icelandic offerings, is fat-free and contains 20g of protein per serving.

This "is quite high" when compared with standard Greek yogurt, said Sabin. Icelandic yogurt is also "thicker and creamier" than Greek yogurt,

While putting pressure on Greek yogurt manufacturers, whose products currently account for more than a third of all US yogurt sales, these products are unlikely to experience the same level of success, said Sabin.

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