Flavor Drives Yogurt Trends, Consumer Preferences, Market Research Study Finds

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Comax noted that while the global yogurt market is set to grow at a 6.5% CAGR from 2017 to 2022, the U.S. yogurt market declined 0.3% in 2016.

Adding to its primary market research studies covering alternative dairy products, sweet baked goods, bread, and crackers, Comax Flavors (Melville, NY) released its fifth set of findings, which examined consumers’ behaviors, uses, and attitudes toward yogurt.

While the global yogurt market looks set to grow at a 6.5% CAGR from 2017 to 2022, ultimately hitting a value of $125 billion per Mordor Intelligence, Nielsen data show that-in the U.S., at least-the market declined 0.3%, bringing in $7.6 billion in 2016.

“Over the last year we have seen the U.S. yogurt market as well as the milk market struggle with strong competition from alternative plant-based proteins,” noted Catherine Armstrong, vice president of corporate communications, Comax Flavors, in a press statement. “We wanted to better understand consumer usage and drivers in the yogurt market.”

Representatives talked about yogurt with 500 U.S. consumers aged 18 to 70-plus-split evenly between men and women, and half comprising parents of children aged 1 to 17-in June 2017. Among the tidbits the consumers told them: “flavor” drives more than half (52%) their yogurt purchases, with berry tops among both adults (61%) and children (58%). Tropical isn’t far behind, with 45% and 47% of adults and parents citing it, respectively. Meanwhile, vanilla has fans among adults (44%) and children (43%), but coffee wins with only 21% of Baby Boomers and 19% of 15-to-17-year-olds.

Edgier flavors like “vegetable” and “botanical/floral” appeal to Gen Xers and Boomers alike, and even 20% of 3-to-5-year-olds consume “vegetable” yogurt. But Gen Z consumers are the biggest patrons of “spicy” flavors-even if at only 5%-while those in the Silent Generation don’t care for “spicy” yogurt at all.

As for yogurt styles and formats, 26% of adults and 66% of children are happy to drink their yogurt. “Greek” yogurt is the most popular style with adults (56%); children, on the other hand, prefer whole-milk yogurt at a rate of 50%. Only 17% of adults eat packaged yogurt with add-ins or toppings, but 23% of children enjoy products with such inclusions.

And true to its healthy reputation, yogurt serves as an alternative to indulgent desserts or ice cream for 69% of adults and 79% of children.