Packaged Facts: Greek yogurt sales jumped more than 50% in 2012

ROCKVILLE, Md. — According to a recent analysis by Packaged Facts, a division, U.S. retail sales of yogurt will approach $9.3 billion by 2017, up from $7.3 billion in 2012, with Greek yogurt brands being the major catalyst for these significant increases.

According to the report, "The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation: Greek Yogurt and Beyond," in the U.S., retail dollar sales of Greek yogurt increased more than 50% in 2012 to reach $1.6 billion, with significant gains in the mass-market as well as natural and specialty retail channels. At the same time, non-Greek yogurt saw its sales decrease. According to David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts, “Greek yogurt has raised its share of the refrigerated yogurt market to 35%, up from only 1% in 2007.”

The report notes this sales pace isn't likely to continue forever, but still sees significant opportunities for suppliers and retailers to capture some of the increased market share. For instance, Packaged Facts notes, "Even with its recent market growth, yogurt continues to be consumed at a much lower per capita rate in the U.S. than in other countries where yogurt is a staple. Moreover, yogurt is spreading beyond the breakfast daypart, reflecting the 'breakfast-all-day' culinary and menu trend."

This is maybe best exemplified in the flurry of frozen yogurt shops that have popped up over recent years and more shelf space given to frozen yogurt brands in the freezer aisle. The report notes private label frozen yogurt brands rank number one with consumers. And in the refrigerated yogurt market, private label is sitting at number two overall. The popularity of these products is likely the reason suppliers are opening the doors to their own yogurt shops, like the Chobani Yogurt Bar in the SoHo neighborhood in New York City.

The versatility of yogurt also bodes well for the continued success of the products in the marketplace. According to Packaged Facts, "innovative marketers are driving the yogurt and especially Greek yogurt bandwagon into other food categories. Yogurt’s popularity and 'healthy halo' have propelled a spill-over over into product categories such as smoothies, frozen yogurt and novelties, cream cheese and butter, salad dressings, dips and spreads, and granola bars, among others."

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