With top players including Chobani, Danone, FAGE and Yoplait, the market has seen a quick growth over the last few years.
In 2007, the market was a mere 1% of the US yogurt market. Now, it has captured more than 50% of the market share in yogurt.
“Continuous innovations by vendors and extension of product lines have contributed to the growth of this market,” the report said.
“The introduction of new flavors, novel packaging, and new technologies will prove to be instrumental in increasing the demand for Greek yogurts in the years to come.”
Health, innovation a big factor
Technavio research analyst Vijay Sarathi told DairyReporter said Greek yogurt manufacturers in the US are focusing heavily on innovative formulation, positioning and packaging to address the growing need of customers.
“Evolving consumer tastes and preferences, product differentiations by manufacturers are some of the major reasons there are a lot of innovations in terms of formulations and packaging driving the Greek yogurt market in the US,” he said. “Some notable examples include Greek yogurt plus Chia from the The Epic Seed company in terms of formulation and Greek yogurt in pouch formats from Chobani in terms of packaging.”
Technavio’s report said this growth is, in large part, due to the growing passion for healthy food by US consumers, especially those with higher protein and less sugar.
“Consumers also find Greek yogurts to be more filling and nutritious over other alternatives,” the company found.
Greek yogurt is also being used heavily as a workout and between-meals snack, Technavio said, as the athletic crowd has taken to it because of its higher protein content.
2015: Year of Greek yogurt growth
Highlights of 2015 for Greek yogurt form Technavio include:
- Jan ’15: Danonone unveiling new Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt from Danone
- April ’15: Danone and Starbucks enter into partnership to promote Greek yogurt
- April ’15: USDA looks to offer Greek yogurt in schools
- April ’15: Information Resource Inc. has four Greek yogurt product launches in its top 10
Private label becoming more popular
More private label companies are also trying to get in the mix, something Technavio said is forcing leading vendors to develop new marketing strategies and partnerships to help set their product apart from the rest.
“Value for money is one of the most influential motivator of overall dairy consumption in the US which also include Greek yogurt, with consumers opting for products that they believe offer better value for money in the form of private labels, be it lower cost for adequate quality or trading up to products that offer more for the amount paid,” Sarathi said.
“Private labels drove high category value growth between 2010 and 2015 and are rapidly gaining market share as value is growing more quickly than the value of many brands.”
While the country’s market is dominated by a select few brands, Sarathi said holding onto their market share over the next few years will be difficult since the category is being commoditized with the advent of private label brands.
Technavio said that young consumers, a group that makes up 40% of the US population, are driving the demand for Greek yogurt and other similar products.
Greek yogurt, in particular, has benefitted due to an increase in breakfast food consumption by the 18 to 34 age group. This group makes up roughly 23% of the US population and is helping drive the sales of Greek yogurt.
“Constantly testing this group with new products will further increase their consumption during the forecast period,” Sarathi said. “For instance, Chobani’s success with Chobani Flip and Chobani Bite, both launched in 2013 is evident of this fact.”
In addition, many are using Greek yogurt as a way to add to dishes they cook. Research from Technavio said many have been using it to sub in for dips, butter and even mayonnaise.