- Drinkable yogurt has become a new craze manufacturers are pursuing to capitalize on consumers' love of yogurt and demand for convenient products.
- Yogurt beverages have long been popular in other countries worldwide.Now their demand in the U.S. is growing, slowly but surely.
- Drinkable yogurt still only maintains a sliver of the U.S. yogurt market, but it was the category's fastest growing sub-segment last year, Euromonitor analyst Jared Koerten told Quartz.
Ultimately, the growth in yogurt drinks is about consumers' demand for convenience. Fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyles are increasingly common in the U.S., and consumers have expressed interest in liquid meal replacements, particularly for morning eating occasions. Yogurt drinks positioned in this category could be a boon for manufacturers trying to capitalize on these trends.
Drinkable yogurt is a key factor in category strategies for several major producers. Chobani has bet on product innovation to make Greek yogurt a more versatile ingredient that is not bound by sweetness or breakfast. The company debuted its Drink Chobani line last month as part of its expansion of Greek yogurt into other categories, such as dips and drinks.
General Mills recently announced a drinkable yogurt line, set to hit stores in 2017. The new line will be part of the company's yogurt portfolio overhaul, which will impact 60% of its yogurt business within the next year, executives said at an investor day event last month.
Yogurt is General Mills' third-largest category behind cereal and snacks, accounting for 16% of the company's total business. By using innovations like yogurt drinks to stabilize this category, which has lost significant market share for General Mills in recent years, the company can focus on its efforts to turn around the ailing cereal segment.