FMI report says Greek yogurt still growing

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The Greek yogurt market is still thriving according to a new FMI report on the yogurt market. Photo: iStock - MSPhotographic
The Greek yogurt market is still thriving according to a new FMI report on the yogurt market. Photo: iStock - MSPhotographic

Related tags Greek yogurt Dietary fiber

A new report by Future Market Insights (FMI), Yoghurt Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015 – 2025 is being published in May 2016.

The report​ is a compilation of first-hand information, qualitative and quantitative assessment by industry analysts, inputs from industry experts and industry participants across the value chain.

It provides analysis of market trends, changing dynamics, macro-economic indicators, market sizes (volume and value) both historically and projected, product offerings, and potential niche segments. It also maps the qualitative impact of various market factors on market segments and geographies.

Malarkodi Mahendran, food and beverage analyst at Future Market Insights told DairyReporter that the Greek yogurt ‘revolution’ doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down.

“Yogurt and yogurt drinks grew by 6% in the 52 weeks ending May 18, 2014, largely due to continued consumer interest in Greek yogurt.”

She said innovation and the continuous focus of product development by the leading players keep consumer preferences like taste, indulgence, convenience and nutritional requirements at the forefront, which helps the Greek yogurt segment to grow at a positive rate.

Greek yogurt trends

Mahendran said that there are some major trends in Greek yogurt.

“Greek yogurt has been frozen by most major national and regional brands,”​ she said.

“The next generation of products is getting more sophisticated through the addition of flavorful ingredients. For example, Turkey Hill, Conestoga, PA (US), is introducing a limited-edition dessert-flavored line up. During January through March the company is offering Baklava, which is vanilla Greek frozen yogurt with baklava pieces and a honey cinnamon swirl.

“Lemoni Biskoti will be available April through June. It is lemon cream Greek frozen yogurt with a lemon shortbread swirl. From July to September, consumers may purchase Raspberry Chokolata, which is raspberry Greek frozen yogurt with chocolaty slivers​.

“Sea Salt Caramel Truffle will be offered October through December. As the name suggests, it contains caramel Greek frozen yogurt with sea salted caramel truffles.”

Specific ingredients offered

Mahendran told DairyReporter that in an effort to assist formulators with their new creations, suppliers are offering ingredients designed specifically for Greek yogurt, both strained and protein-enhanced, as well as refrigerated and frozen.

“For example, in response to growing consumer interest in authenticity, Chr. Hansen Inc., has introduced an authentic Greek yogurt culture series sourced from a strain collection at the Agricultural University of Athens. The new cultures make it easy for Greek yogurt producers to obtain optimal taste and texture.”

Beneo Inc offers rice starch, which can support Greek yogurt manufacturers in the production of fat-reduced alternatives with the same creaminess as its full-fat equivalent, Mahendran added.

Importance of inulin

Another development she noted is the chicory root-derived prebiotic fiber inulin, which acts as a fat replacer in low-fat dairy products such as Greek yogurt, providing creamy mouthfeel and body.

“The white, odorless, soluble powder has no off-taste and can stabilize water into a creamy structure. It has a similar mouthfeel to fat and it helps reduce the calorie content of food products,”​ she said.

For fruit-flavored versions of Greek-style yogurt, chicory root fiber may be added to the fruit preparation to allow for “no added sugar” or light formulations.

While Greek yogurt might already be important globally, Mahendran told DR that there are still untapped markets available.

“Almost all the developing Asian countries have a lot of untapped potential. For instance there are hardly any Greek yogurt products marketed and sold in India. Consumers are aware of only flavoured, frozen and normal yogurt products.

“Even though consumers are aware of these products it is still at a very nascent stage. There is a high opportunity to expand and increase the revenue for Greek yogurt in the Asia Pacific, excluding Japan and Middle East countries.”

US dominates market

Currently, the report says, countries that contribute to the biggest sales in Greek yogurt are the US, Canada, Mexico, France, UK and Korea.

Chobani (US), General Mills (US), Danone (France), Fage (US), Stonyfield Farm (US)

Greek yogurt market leaders

Mahendran says the report shows the market leaders in Greek yogurt are Chobani (US), General Mills (US), Danone (France), Fage (US), and Stonyfield Farm (US).

Looking ahead, Mahendran said, “There is an increasing demand for organic and clean label products, which is influencing the Greek yogurt segment also. Consumers are preferring products which are natural, healthy and preservatives free.”

She added that while the report shows the market has four leading players in Chobani, Danone, General Mills and Fage, there is room for new companies as there is lot of untapped market potential in developing Asian countries, where they can invest, expand and explore the market.

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