Fruit flavors win in yogurt
The yogurt category continues to grow as consumers around the world reach for probiotic foods to support optimum health as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. With brands competing on innovation to make their yogurts stand out, it’s important to consider that flavor is a top driver for consumers when choosing a yogurt.
Fruit flavors are the most popular by far, accounting for more than two-thirds of flavored dairy and dairy alternative launches globally between July 2016 and June 2020.1 Thirty-two percent of these new product launches were berry, 6% citrus, and 32% other fruit (e.g., pineapple, mango, and banana).2 This breakdown has remained fairly consistent over time.
For spoonable dairy yogurt, strawberry is the leading flavor in global new product launches (between July 2019 and June 2020) at 16%, followed by vanilla (7%), blueberry (5%), and peach and raspberry (both 4%).3 Strawberry is also number one in drinkable yogurts (at 8%), followed by vanilla and blueberry (both 4%), peach (3%), and mango (2%).4
Yogurt flavor trends for 2022
While mainstream flavors such as fruit offer familiarity, flavor innovation has the power to attract curious consumers and drive additional category growth. For example, in the U.S., 27% of yogurt/yogurt drink consumers say seeing a new flavor inspired them to buy it.5 In the UK, 32% would be willing to pay more for innovative yogurt flavors.6
Here’s a look at four innovative flavor trends emerging in yogurt:
1. Dessert Flavors
Consumers love to indulge in decadent flavors—for comfort and for excitement. And with half of U.S. consumers indulging in small treats on a daily basis,7 offering yogurts in delicious dessert flavors represents a key opportunity for the category. Decadent fruit varieties like Specially Selected Strawberry Luxury Layered Yogurt (UK), a custard-style yogurt with cream on a layer of strawberry sauce, are one approach. Desserts often served with yogurt such as pavlova can also serve as inspiration.
2. Naturally Flavored
Naturally flavored yogurts are another trend emerging globally, often with a focus on keeping sugar low while upping the game with flavor. Campina Drinking Yogurt with a Touch of Strawberry & Raspberry (Netherlands) uses fruit juices in its less sweet formula, while The Veggie Plot Red Pepper with Zing (UK) goes the savory route, getting its flavor from red peppers and tomatoes. Naturally flavored also includes naturally sweetened—for example, with ingredients such as honey or agave. One-third of U.S. consumers would be interested in yogurt/yogurt drinks sweetened with ingredients other than sugar.8
3. Less Sweet
The less sweet trend in yogurt is setting the stage for new flavor options. One example is the rise in yogurts with herb and spice flavors—especially those that pair well with fruit flavors for a more complex and appealing taste experience. Tine Yogurt NYT (Norway) offers Mango & Chili, as well as Orange & Ginger, while Versa Thermostatic Yogurt Dessert (Russia) blends kiwi, watermelon, and mint. Cranberry and thyme are the key flavors in Actimel Botanicals Cranberry & Thyme Yogurt Drink (Germany).
4. Regional Flavors
Another way yogurt is engaging consumers is by offering them a global taste adventure through exotic regional flavors. For example, the flavor of Japan’s famous citrus fruit yuzu can be found in The Collective Lemon Yuzu Cheesecake Probiotic Yogurt (New Zealand). Mexican style chocolate, a flavor that’s appeared in the U.S. dairy aisle thanks to TruMoo After Dark Mexican Style Chocolate Vitamin D Milk, is another idea for elevating yogurt or yogurt drinks. Mexican style chocolate blends the flavor of dark chocolate with hints of cinnamon and chili pepper.