Flavor ranks as most important attribute when shopping for yogurt

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

More study respondents reported mixing in their own extra ingredients themselves rather than buy yogurt with prepackaged add ins and toppings. ©GettyImages/Foxys_forest_manufacture
More study respondents reported mixing in their own extra ingredients themselves rather than buy yogurt with prepackaged add ins and toppings. ©GettyImages/Foxys_forest_manufacture
Flavor is the number one driver of yogurt purchases for more than half (52%) of US adults, followed by health benefits (37%), according to a study of consumer behavior by Comax Flavors.

The consumer study also revealed that Greek yogurt is the most popular style among adults, while whole milk yogurt is preferred by children.  

The study was conducted in June 2017 and surveyed 500 US consumers between the ages of 18 and 70, half of which were parents of children between the ages of one and 17.

"Over the last year we have seen the US yogurt market as well as the milk market struggle with strong competition from alternative plant-based proteins. We wanted to better understand consumer usage and drivers in the yogurt market,” ​Catherine Armstrong, VP of corporate communications for Comax Flavors, said.

While the global yogurt is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% between 2017 and 2022, according to Mordor Intelligence, the US yogurt market has contracted slightly by 0.6% in 2016.

Flavor breakdown

Berry was found to be the number one yogurt flavor among adults (61%) and children (58%) followed by “tropical”​ flavors consumed by 45% of adult respondents and 47% of children. Vanilla yogurt came in third equally consumed by adults (44%) and children (43%).

More niche flavors such as botanical/floral and vegetable yogurt were consumed equally by Gen X and Baby Boomers (8%), while 20% of adult parents cited by vegetable-flavored yogurt for their 3- to 5-year-olds and 21% of parents purchased botanical/flavor yogurt flavors for their children between 9- and 11-years-old.

Spicy flavors of yogurt were the least popular among the Silent Generation respondents (0%) and Gen Z (5%).

Half of parents reported flavoring their children’s yogurt (fresh and frozen fruit, granola, nuts, cereal, and sweeteners) and 32% of adult respondents said they flavor their own yogurt.

Swapping in yogurt

Comax Flavors also found that yogurt is being used in more food and beverage preparation than just a standalone snack. For example, 51% of respondents use yogurt in their beverage, 39% use it in “sweet preparations,” ​28% use it as an ingredient in “dips & dressings,”​ and 18% use it in other savory preparations.

More than two-thirds of adults (69%) and 79% of children consume yogurt as an alternative to an indulgent dessert or ice cream. Roughly one-third (36%) of adults and 47% of parents use yogurt in place of mayonnaise, sour cream, crème fraiche and/or oil.

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