• Yogurt Innovation Continues to Drive Growth

    By Kara McDonald October 27, 2017


    Yogurt has become a universal snack that attracts global consumers for its innate health and convenience. According to Innova Market Insights, new yogurt product introductions increased 9.3% (compound annual growth rate) from 2012 to 2017.1 As consumers find more occasions to soak up the nutritional benefits and indulgent flavors, yogurt sales rise. It is predicted that the market volume will increase 11% from 2016 to 2018.2

    Dairy is the base for clean and creative yogurt varieties

    Yogurt sales are increasing because of the level of innovation in the yogurt category. We can pinpoint three factors associated with yogurt’s appeal: functional capabilities, consumer desire for permissive indulgence and the need for conveniently nutritious/health-boosting snacks. Manufacturers are noticing these factors, too, and are formulating more yogurt offerings with new claims, textures and flavor combinations, reinforcing the current and future possibilities of this dairy product.

    Dairy’s health halo will always be an important contributor to yogurt’s popularity.  Milk’s protein, vitamin, and mineral contents and digestive health benefits make cow’s milk an abundant and irreplaceable yogurt ingredient. The reliable supply of U.S. cow’s milk can help yogurt product developers create everything from traditional to savory to sweet varieties.   

    New research proves that using cow’s milk elevates the healthfulness of yogurt

    New research demonstrates the benefits of yogurt made with cow’s milk. There are multiple studies outlined in this DairyGood article, authored by Judith Jarvis, about yogurt’s impact on the human body. One study found that consumers who ate one or more servings of yogurt per day had a lower BMI, waist circumference and percent body fat compared with those who didn’t. Another indicated that higher-fat dairy foods are associated with lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

    This research may contribute to understanding why full-fat yogurt can be part of a healthy diet and is no longer just an indulgence. There has been an increase in market launches of whole milk yogurts that focus on added benefits such as digestive health.1

    Yogurt is also a versatile food ingredient that can promote a cleaner label by displacing undesirable ingredients, enhancing flavor, and providing texture and moisture to bakery, dressings, soups and sauces. Yogurt also can be used in dried form for confectionary/dried fruit coatings.  If the yogurt ingredient is heated during food preparation (cooked, baked), it will still have the protein and nutrients but not the functional bacteria unless they are added back afterwards. Avoiding heat treatment will help the live and active cultures in yogurt to survive. This is an important selling point for manufacturers because more consumers are aware of the connection between good nutrition and digestive health.

    Formulation support to develop dairy-driven yogurts

    ThinkUSAdairy.org recently added a yogurt landing page to its collection of dairy-related resources. Dairy products and ingredients offer flavor, function and nutrition that is hard for competitive sources to match. This website has a collection of information for food and beverage formulators interested in working with the U.S. dairy industry. The new yogurt section offers technical reports, recipes, insights and more reference pieces, accessible at any time.

    U.S. yogurt is available in an array of styles, flavors, protein contents and fat levels. For more yogurt-related information, read why mainstream consumers want probiotics and delivering lactose-free options with dairy.

    1Innova Market Insights. Spoonable Dairy Yogurt. Sub-Category Report H1 2017. September 2017.
    2Innova Market Insights. Consumer Lifestyles. Consumer Insights: Yogurt. May 2016

    Yogurt Consumer Insights Global Digestive Health Probiotics
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