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Smooth transition: Yogurt is doing fine without digestive health claims

By Rachel Arthur+

Last updated on 09-Jul-2014 at 15:00 GMT2014-07-09T15:00:31Z

Euromonitor: "...spoonable is also indulgent, there’s more to it than a digestive health claim."

Sales of yogurt in the UK have remained healthy, despite ditching digestive health positioning, according to Euromonitor. 

In the past, the ‘vast majority’ of pre and pro biotic products cited benefits to digestive health. However, EU regulations concluded most products do not have any discernible benefits in this respect.

This has not had a major effect on sales as was initially feared, according to Euromonitor. Although yogurt developments in 2013 were influenced by the regulations, products have successfully re-positioned themselves as beneficial for general wellbeing, or built on consumers’ demand for indulgent products.

Lianne van den Bos, food analyst, Euromonitor, told products had also managed to establish brand awareness and digestive health claims in consumers’ minds before regulations came into place.

Britons like yogurt

Yogurt in the UK is expected to increase at a CAGR of 1%, rising to £1,902m by 2018. However, drinking yogurts do not follow the same trend and are expected to decline in constant value at a CAGR of 1%.

Drinking yogurt is very much targeted with the health benefit,” said van den Bos. “But spoonable is also indulgent, there’s more to it than a digestive health claim. In the UK people tend to enjoy yogurt with cereal, etcetera – there’s a lot more to it.

Other factors include the wide range of yogurts available, with varying textures, numerous brands, and private label products as well. Promoting general well-being or other health benefits - such as protein for bone and joint health – are also ensuring yogurt’s popularity.

For example, the Greek yogurt is really pushing a high level of protein and recovery time for sports. That’s really catching on,” she said.

Pushing protein – but for how long?

It’s not just yogurt highlighting protein : products from snack bars to bread have been promoting it as a key benefit.

It’s a very good strategy, the question is for how long,” said van den Bos. “Is it a trend to stay, or a fad that will go away in a year?  If you’re creating a new product, that could take a year. The big question is:  should you invest or are you already too late?

If everyone keeps coming up with protein the same way as they have with organic, it won’t stick out. But I do expect protein to carry on a little while longer.

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