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After establishing dominance over breakfast and sweet snacking, Greek yogurt is now taking aim at other dayparts and savory applications. The tangy yogurt has already made inroads in salad dressings, chilled sauces and spreads, but is the market ready for meal-sized helpings? The big producers think the answer is yes.
Chobani recently announced it will debut a line of yogurt-based savory dips in June 2016. These packaged meze snacks are “rooted in the rich tradition of the Mediterranean table and inspired by global flavors,” according to the company, such as roasted red pepper and smoked onion. The packaged dips are meant for pairing with crackers and crudites and will compete head to head with the growing hummus category. Chobani promotes the product as having 80 percent less fat and 65 percent fewer calories than leading hummus products.
With two Chobani cafes in New York City, this brand already has experience moving Greek yogurt beyond sweet applications. Cafe yogurt flavors include red pepper-feta and cucumber-mint, served with simit, a Turkish sesame bread-ring that resembles a bagel. Simit and yogurt sandwiches feature toppings like smoked salmon, Turkish aged beef and olive tapenade.
These yogurt offerings follow the demand for hearty, non-sweet snack options, and they also correspond to more consumer interest in sour tastes. Former Food Network host Gale Gand, speaking at Progressive Grocer’s first Grocerant Summit in Chicago last fall, described how consumers’ expanding palates are now more open to bitter flavors. As Greek yogurt expands into savory dishes, Gand says, she expects other dairy foods, like kefir and thicker Icelandic yogurt, to be the next big opportunities.
An in-house signature brand of savory Greek yogurt spread with olive oil and herbs in small containers, offered at the salad bar and on made-to-order sandwiches
Samples of different Greek yogurt dressings and dips near salad bars
Crossover flavors, like avocado and tahini, at in-store yogurt bars