Drinkable yogurt, which currently sits at $27.7bn worldwide, will grow by 7% in 2016 and at a rate of nearly 8% each year until 2020, according to Technavio’s recent report.
Biggest areas of growth
Vijay Sirathi, a Technavio food and beverage research analyst, told DairyReporter that the Asian-Pacific market dominated drinkable yogurt, with a market share of 39% of revenue in 2015. This is expected to rise to nearly 45% by 2020.
“The increasing demand for yogurt drinks in APAC is due to the rising consumption in countries such as China and Japan,” Sirathi said. “Consumers in APAC consider drinking yogurts to be more healthy and indulgent than other sugary drinks. Yogurt drink manufacturers are investing heavily in dairy farms to ensure a steady supply of milk for the production of yogurt drinks.”
Europe is also seeing steady growth of nearly 5% per year, according to the report.
The US drinkable yogurt market has moderate growth at 2.1%, but Sirathi said it has neared maturity stateside. The US yogurt market may see larger growth with frozen yogurt, which has seen a more-than 20% per year growth in sales each year.
As to where drinkable yogurt may see success next, Sirathi said “booming economies” such as Brazil, Russia and India are proving to be the best areas for this category.
“Increased western lifestyles and tastes, and rising disposable income among the younger consumer base between ages 20-35 is encouraging vendors to launch more innovative variants targeting this cohort group,” according to Sirathi. “Trust towards foreign brands is on the rise in China and India and foreign players are taking advantage of the prevailing trend by launching products infused with local flavors.”
A healthy snack?
As consumers have moved away from sugar and toward natural ingredients, Sirathi said flavored yogurt has positioned itself as a “health snack for conscious consumers” as its new product launches are driving the market’s revenue.
“Recent growth in yogurt and yogurt drinks has been driven by innovation in flavor combinations, probiotic combinations, and packaging,” Sirathi said. “For instance, Chobani Strained Yoghurt is marketed as either fat-free or low fat and free from preservatives, artificial flavors, and sweeteners, and is made with naturally sourced ingredients. Similarly, Benecol yogurt drinks are a cholesterol-lowering drink with claims that drinking one bottle per day contains just the right amount of plant stanols proven to lower cholesterol.”
Drinkable yogurt is also taking on savory flavors, such as beetroot, carrot and tomato from Blue Hill. Consumers have been more willing to try new things, even artificial sweeteners like stevia, in their drinkable yogurt. These have received positive responses from consumers, Sirathi said.