In May 2014, DSM surveyed 6,000 male and female consumers in "six diverse markets" - Brazil, China, France, Poland, Turkey and the US - to gauge their perception of yogurt.
As detailed in its Dairy Global Insights Series report, Patterns in Yogurt Consumption, the "majority" of the 6,000 consumers surveyed view yogurt “as a snack to bridge the gap between one meal and the next.”
DSM discovered that in Poland, for example, yogurt was consumed as a snack in 73% of cases.
Meanwhile in China, it is consumed as a beverage 47% of the time, it found.
"For health conscious consumers with busy lives, yogurt offers a convenient 'stop gap' food that can be enjoyed without sacrificing healthy eating principles," said the report.
This was not, however, the case in France, where DSM found yogurt is consumed as a dessert 87% of the time.
“France is a very mature yogurt market in which behaviours and norms around yogurt consumption are likely to be more entrenched and less fluid than those in emerging markets.”
"Key time for yogurt to shine"
Breakfast also emerged as a “key time for yogurt to shine” in some markets.
For example, 57% and 59% those surveyed in Brazil and the US consume yogurt as part of their first meal of the day.
“Some dairy manufacturers are already embracing the potential of the breakfast market by introducing new options that combine dairy and grains in a single serving for maximum breakfast convenience and appeal, such as Greek-style yogurt with oats," said the report.
Per capita consumption
"Encouragingly for yogurt manufacturers", 53% of those surveyed by DSM reported eating more yogurt now that they did three years ago.
Developing yogurt markets, China and Brazil, were the driving force behind this increase, with 61% of consumers in Brazil and 67% in China eating more yogurt.
Per capita yogurt consumption in these developing yogurt markets is still low when compared to countries like France or Turkey.
DSM found that in Turkey and France, consumers ate an average of 281.6 and 280 125g cups of yogurt each year.
Those surveyed in Brazil consumed an average of 61.6 cups.
Click here to read to full report.