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According to The NPD Group’s recent “National Eating Trends” research, the primary drivers behind yogurt’s strong growth over the last decade include its popularity among young adults as well as its consumption during in-home breakfast occasions. In fact, according to the research, yogurt consumption has more than doubled per capita during the last 10 years, and now nearly one in three consumers eat yogurt.
“Although there are currently some marketplace changes in the category, yogurt has shown remarkable growth over the last decade and innovation, like new packaging and Greek-style yogurts, continues to breathe new life into the category,” said Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst. “Innovation in the yogurt category is just one component. Taking a look into U.S. homes to see the behavioral drivers behind yogurt’s growth helps to round out the story for food marketers interested in either riding this wave or trying to replicate this story in other categories.”
Looking at yogurt consumption in the home, where three-fourths of all yogurt consumption takes place, yogurt has grown at all eating occasions – breakfast, lunch, dinner and between meals, according to NPD’s source of growth analysis. Consumers use yogurt as a meal, a meal replacement, a snack, and even as a dessert. Over the last five years, the in-home breakfast occasion has been the primary driver behind incremental eating occasions: 39 percent of incremental yogurt eating occasions during that time have been from breakfast, followed by 20 percent from between meal snack occasions, and 19 percent from lunch.
Additionally, NPD found that over half of yogurt’s growth at breakfast can be attributed to consumers in the 18-to-34 and 45-to-64 age groups. Taking a closer look at the younger age group, the study identified several dynamics that work together to result in incremental eating occasions.
The number of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. population has risen approximately 6 percent since 2007. Over the past few years, members of that age group have been eating breakfast in the home more often, which accounts for the yogurt category’s share of breakfast occasions increasing among young adults. The NPD’s source of growth analysis concluded that the combination of these factors has resulted in approximately 200 million incremental yogurt occasions among 18- to 34-year-olds.
“As is typically true in cases of remarkable success, there are many intersecting elements to yogurt’s success story,” Seifer added. “The consumer dynamics behind its growth provide key insights that help identify future opportunities for yogurt and other categories.”
The NPD Group provides comprehensive consumer and retail information to more than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels.