Drinking yogurts and fermented beverages are moving forward with new formats and target markets, says Innova Market Insights.
Photo © iStockphoto.com/Anna_Quaglia
After several years of “mixed fortunes,” drinking yogurts and fermented beverages are looking to move forward with new formats and target markets, reports Innova Market Insights (Arnhem, the Netherlands).
Launch numbers for drinking yogurts and fermented beverages have increased over the past five years, accounting for 8.5% of total global dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of October 2015. However, the share of overall dairy activity claimed by drinking yogurts and fermented beverages has actually decreased over the same period.
“The drinking yogurt market has enjoyed mixed fortunes in recent years,” suggests Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “A positioning that falls between traditional spoonable yogurts, milk drinks, and other soft drinks has proven to be a mixed blessing, with high levels of competition in all these areas.”
But Innova Market Insights sees indications the market is regaining its footing and moving in new directions. Specifically, smoothie products featuring yogurt and fruit blends may be an area of particular focus as the market moves forward, says Innova Market Insights, as well as yogurt-style fermented drinks.
Evidence of the rising interest in fermented dairy drinks can be seen in the broader acceptance of regional drinks in non-traditional regions, such as kefir, lassi, and ayran. For instance, Skyr, a yogurt-style fermented dairy product from Iceland, recently arrived in the United States, the United Kingdom, and mainland Europe, and is available in fruit flavors, coffee, and vanilla, says Innova.
“After a few difficult years, it may be that the drinking yogurt market is once again on the up,” says Williams. “The renewed focus on convenience and indulgence, combined with its health image, has resulted in a drink or snack offering suitable for both in-home and on-the-go consumption.”
Innova Market Insights has also seen a focus on liquid yogurt products for the breakfast market, both in in-home cartons and on-the-go resealable plastic bottles.
Health Claims Still Central
Despite looking toward new formats and markets, health claims remain central to drinking yogurts. Innova Market Insights reports that more than 80% of global launches of drinking yogurts recorded in the 12 months through October 2015 featured health claims, and in the United States that percentage is 98%.
Digestive/gut health is the most popular health claim globally, used on more than half of drinking yogurt launches, followed by 45% of launches that featured “low fat,” “low sugar,” and/or “low calorie” claims.
“Interest in clean label is also evident, with over one-fifth of launches using natural or no additive/preservative claims, rising to nearly 27% if organic claims are also included,” according to Innova Market Insights.
Protein is another key positioning platform for much of the dairy sector, including yogurts, as Innova Market Insights reported in September.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine