Dairy yogurt sales down as millenials try new products
February 1, 2019
ORLANDO, Fla. — After being touted as the savior of the dairy industry in recent years, sales of both conventional and Greek dairy yogurt have fallen as younger consumers exercise their penchant for trying new products, a key market analysis firm said here at the Dairy Forum last week.
While there are campaigns against dairy products, younger consumers who shift from dairy-based yogurt to plant-based yogurt are making the change because there are so many new plant-based yogurts and they like to try new products, Tristan Zuber-Hrobuchak of Chr. Hansen, a global bioscience company that conducted a study of the U.S. yogurt market, told the dairy executives.
"Consumers are confused about yogurt," noted Zuber-Hrobuchak. They believe dairy-based yogurt "tastes great, is convenient and healthy," but some think plant-based products are even healthier and that they should not consume dairy products due to animal welfare concerns.
People who are not vegans or lactose-intolerant say they consume a mix of dairy and plant-based yogurts because they want "balance" in their diets," she said.
The biggest growth in dairy yogurt, she said, is a drinkable product. But many consumers have never tried it.
"Drinkable yogurt shows no sign of slowing down," she said.
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Zuber-Hrobuchak recommended that dairy companies promote drinkable yogurt and try to come up with new dairy yogurts with a greater variety of flavors.
"If we put more varieties out there consumers will experiment with them," she said.
Consumers say they want less sugar, but a lot of products with reduced sugar have been launched and they have not done very well in the market, she said.
"Sugar is addictive to them, so pulling away from sugar is difficult," she said. "Industry needs to do things so consumers will get used to tasting products with less sugar."
Dairy companies need to be careful to appeal to consumers' insistence on healthy foods.
"Consumers don't want to have to Google whether a product is healthy for them or not," Zuber-Hrobuchak. "They just want to know that it is. Consumers want to be catered to."