Fruit flavors comprised over two-thirds of global launches in the yogurt market during the fiscal year ended March 2013, according to Innova Market Insights.
According to the report, this market segment comprised three-quarters in the U.S. 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. They are featured in 12% of introductions, but again this varies, depending upon regional and cultural preferences for plain yogurt. Levels for this category rose to over 22% in Asia, but fell to less than 5% in the U.S. 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 up-market 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,” she added.
Williams also notes companies are increasingly offering limited edition and seasonal options. Aside from that, 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, the report said, with the exotic, unusual and more complex featuring strongly across a range of countries. For instance in the U.K., Collective Dairy has even added value to a new natural yogurt variant sweetened with honey. 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. In Germany, Stracciatella (with chocolate flakes) appears to be a new area of focus with introductions under the Landliebe and Activia brands in the first part of the year. Stracciatella is one of three new flavors added to the Landliebe premium range, along with chocolate and caramel, while Activia Creme Genuss is being marketed as the first ever Activia product to contain fine chocolate.