BMI Food Bites: Yoghurt growth slows

The overall demand for cultured dairy products continues to increase and the yoghurt market plays an integral part within this. The category has seen consistent growth since BMI tracking started in 1998, reaching up to 18% in 2005, and in double digits for the 2003-2007 period. While the overall annual growth rate has slowed down significantly in the last five years, it’s still on a healthy upwards trajectory.

The yoghurt market in 2009 in particular showed a very small volume increase. 2010 saw a volume growth of 3.8% as the overall economy improved. The market continues to show volume growth as the market leaders enhance the category through continued product innovation; the expection is by 4.2% and 5.0% in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Per capita consumption of yoghurt also increased in 2010.

Possible reasons for the continued upward trend include the following, notes BMI Food Research:

  • There has been a move to smaller pack sizes with the convenience of the multipack, and this trend is ongoing with half of the product volume now in packaging of 100g or less, most of these available as multipacks.
  • The positioning of yoghurt as natural, with prebiotics and probiotics that are beneficial for the maintenance of natural flora while on antibiotics, has proved beneficial and is aided by the continued trend towards healthier eating choices. Yoghurt becomes a better choice as it provides products with reduced fat, fat free, reduced sucrose and sucrose free formats and contains little, if any, trans fats.
  • The market has continued to remain innovative, introducing new flavours and brands, especially among the kiddies yoghurt section which often include brand characters that are used in the advertising and sponsorship campaigns. DairyBelle has introduced the rainbow range for children. Yoghurt continues to remain a healthy option amongst other snack foods.
  • The yoghurt market is dominated by demand from retail with more than four fifths (80.8%) of the volume channelled into this sector.  Retail therefore strongly influences the overall pricing and packaging decisions for this category.
  • The South African yoghurt market is made up of a mixture of a large, medium and small scale players, located nationwide. Yoghurt distribution is evenly spread nationwide with a substantial percentage (3.8%) of the locally manufactured yoghurt sold on the export market.
  • Global player, Danone entered the local market in 1996 in partnership with Clover resulting in the growth of the yoghurt market and establishing Danone Clover as the market leader. In the last year, Danone acquired 100% of the Danone Clover joint-venture and Danone Southern Africa now operates.

Source: BMI Annual Market Quantification September 2011