Fruit flavors dominate the yogurt market. They are featured in over two-thirds of global launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months ending March 2013, rising to three-quarters of the U.S. total and nearly 70% in Latin America. This encompasses a wide range of different types of fruit, from more traditional strawberry and peach to more unusual such as papaya, damson, and coconut. Plain, natural, or unflavored yogurts are the second most popular option globally, featuring in about 12% of introductions. This varies depending on regional and cultural preferences for plain yogurt, with levels rising to over 22% in Asia, but falling to less than 5% in the United States. Brown flavors, such as chocolate and caramel, took third place globally, ahead of vanilla.
“The yogurt market is generally showing good growth, and this is reflected in terms of new product activity, where levels are continuing to rise globally,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “With an increasingly competitive marketplace, the need for product differentiation has led to developments in flavors over recent years, most notably into more upmarket and complex options, often featuring a number of different ingredients, sometimes with formulations taken from other sectors of the market, such as desserts, bakery, and confectionery.”
Williams also notes that companies are trying to ring in the changes with increasing numbers of limited edition and seasonal options. The split-pot concept has helped to move the level of flavor sophistication forward. This has allowed for the addition of sauces and purees, as well as inclusions such as chocolate or mini-biscuits, which can be used with plain or flavored yogurt to add further interest in terms of texture. Originally confined to dual-compartment pots, the market has now extended to include three-compartment pots, permitting wider options in terms of the number and type of ingredients that can be offered.
Meanwhile, flavor trends in the yogurt market in 2013 seem to be following a similar path to recent years, with the exotic, unusual and more complex featuring strongly across a range of countries. In the United Kingdom, Collective Dairy has even added value to a new natural yogurt variant sweetened with honey, by giving it its own identity under the Plain Jane name. Other range extensions featured the more exotic and upmarket, including Banoffi and White Peach & Raspberry, while a limited edition Papaya & Coconut variant replaced the previous Mighty Mango line.
Press release (pdf)