The consumption and opportunities of yoghurt

Yoghurt consumption is on the up around the globe, driven by three major food trends: health, convenience/snacking and protein. A survey commissioned by DSM has found that yoghurt is viewed by the majority of consumers as a snack “to bridge the gap” between meals.

The research reveals how yoghurt preferences differ between countries and cultures and sheds light on new opportunities for yoghurt manufacturers.

The worldwide versatility of yoghurt is amazing. From drink to snack to meal replacement, from an all-natural product to a protein-rich sports drink, from a fat-free dessert to a lactose-free addition to a child’s lunchbox, yoghurt is the nutrient-rich choice for consumers as it fits with their lifestyles and health preferences.

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 yoghurt.

As detailed in its Dairy Global Insights Series report, Patterns in Yogurt Consumption, the “majority” of the 6,000 consumers surveyed view yoghurt “as a snack to bridge the gap between one meal and the next.”

DSM discovered that in Poland, for example, yoghurt was consumed as a snack in 73% of cases. Meanwhile in China, it is consumed as a beverage 47% of the time, it found.

This was not, however, the case in France, where DSM found yoghurt is consumed as a dessert 87% of the time.“France is a very mature yoghurt market in which behaviours and norms around yoghurt consumption are likely to be more entrenched and less fluid than those in emerging markets.”

Breakfast also emerged as a “key time for yoghurt to shine” in some markets. For example, 57% and 59% those surveyed in Brazil and the US consume yoghurt 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 yoghurt with oats,” said the report.

Encouragingly for yoghurt manufacturers, 53% of those surveyed by DSM reported eating more yoghurt now that they did three years ago.

Developing yoghurt markets, China and Brazil, were the driving force behind this increase, with 61% of consumers in Brazil and 67% in China eating more yoghurt.

Per capita yoghurt consumption in these developing yoghurt 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 yoghurt each year, while those surveyed in Brazil consumed an average of 61.6 cups.

Click here to download the full report