France’s formally buoyant multi-billion euro probiotic yoghurt market will shed €420m between now and 2018 directly because of tough EU health claim laws, according to new analysis that isolates ‘the health claims effect’ for the first time.
The Euromonitor International analysis for the first time tries to equalise for other factors such as the economic recession, population growth, shopping habitudes and inflation, to isolate the EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) effect in spoonable yoghurt in France.
“What we found is that most of the decline is down to the legislation,” Hudson told the International Probiotics Association (IPA) World Congress in Athens, Greece, recently.
Barriers to growth
In a separate paper on the findings, Euromononitor futures and insights manager Lee Linthicum highlighted forecast lost growth.
“Euromonitor International expects that without the regulatory constraints of NHCR, retail volumes could increase by as much as 6% – or 35,000 tonnes – over the same period,” he wrote of France’s spoonable yoghurt market, albeit citing a lower figure.
He added: “It would be a fallacy to attribute the entire retail volume gap purely to NHCR, as other factors including category maturity, consumer preferences and lifestyles, and the impact of increased competition to marketing and retail unit price movements also contribute to the deviation.
“Nevertheless, the French yoghurt industry considers the EU ban on probiotic claims, coupled with a subsequent increase in consumer scepticism of health claims, to be a major barrier to future retail growth.”