Beth Bloom, analyst for Mintel, says international influences—including savory over more traditional sweet flavors—are being noticed in new yogurt product launches, according to an article by Allison Aubrey, NPR.
This is a big jump from the way in which yogurt was introduced to Americans in the 1940s. Dannon Co., a company originally started in Barcelona, Spain as Danone by Issac Carasso, was brought to the U.S. in 1942 by Carasso's son Daniel as Dannon.1
However, 1940 America was not so keen on the tangy taste of yogurt. Spokesman for Dannon Co. tells NPR, "The tart taste was totally unfamiliar to Americans, and that was really the biggest hurdle."
Daniel and his partner Joe Metzger combatted this obstacle by adding sugary, fruit puree to the bottom of each cup of yogurt, appealing to America's sweet tooth and catapulting the company's success.
Turning the Savory Corner
John Fout, cofounder, Sohha Savory Yogurt, tells NPR that the natural tartness of yogurt is embraced around the world, "In most places where the yogurt culture started out—[the] Middle East, India—where yogurt has its longest routes, everybody eats yogurt savory."
Sohha Savory Yogurt's blends are made with classic Middle Eastern spices, including za'atar and sumac, or spicy jalapeño or habanero and sea salts.
Fout says customers are "warming up to the novelty of what he's selling."
Bloom tells NPR the savory end of the yogurt spectrum is a small part of the market, but is growing with new yogurt-based dips inspired by Indian-stule raita and tzatziki-like yogurt with cucumbers.