Global Yogurt Market: Dairy and Dairy Alternative Trends

Explore the latest trends and developments in the global yogurt market

July 17, 2024 – The global market for dairy and non-dairy yogurt has been growing steadily, without any signs of slowing down. Here we will discuss the key factors influencing this growing market, including product launch trends, consumer preferences, top brands, and popular flavors and ingredients.

Macro Context

The dairy and dairy alternative yogurt market is influenced by global macro trends. Environmental concerns are a top trend of concern for consumers, with the effects of climate change putting sustainability into sharper focus. Health of the planet is additionally the #1 global issue of concern for consumers. Health pressures are also important for consumers, with aging and growing populations plus rising obesity levels being key challenges. Economic uncertainty is on the rise as well, with global inflation continuing, causing 3 in 4 consumers to be concerned about the cost-of-living crisis. Finally, technological change continues at a rapid pace, shaping our future and presenting both challenges and opportunities.

Yogurt Market Size and Trends

Sales and volume in the global yogurt market have been steadily rising throughout the past five years, by 5% and 6% CAGR respectively. Innova’s yogurt market trends research also predicts that the growth rate will quicken in the next five years, with a projected 6% CAGR in sales and 7% CAGR in volume.

Most of the top per-capita consumption countries reside in Europe, such as Switzerland, Finland, Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Estonia, and Sweden. However, Israel represents the highest yogurt per capita consumption. China is the top country for yogurt market sales, outperforming the next top countries – India, Japan, and the US – by a wide margin. The fastest growing countries for yogurt sales are India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Romania.

Top Companies and Brands in the Global Yogurt Market

Danone is the most active launcher of dairy and non-dairy yogurt, representing 12% of dairy yogurt launches and 22% of non-dairy yogurt launches. Private label is also a notable presence in certain regions, with almost 30% of yogurt launches in West Europe being private label, 14% in the Middle East, and 11% in East Europe.

Danone is the global sales leader in fresh dairy products and plant-based food and beverage with Essential Dairy and Plant-Based (EDP) accounting for over half its sales globally in the past year. Activia is Danone’s top-selling brand, with more than 60% of its revenue in EDP coming from high value-added functional segments including immunity, gut health, indulgence, and performance for the year. High-protein brands under Danone, Oikos and YoPro, posted strong sales growth as well, and the company’s plant-based brands like Alpro in Europe and Silk in North America have been growing globally.

Other firms with regional or segment strength include Lactalis, Olga, and Yili. Lactalis is a privately held French multinational group which makes dairy products like yogurt, cheese, milk and butter. Olga is another France-based company, family run, with the goal of producing healthier, more environmentally friendly food across four segments: plant-based alternatives, organic, responsible dairy production, and tomorrow’s food and ingredients. Yili is a China based dairy leader in Asia, with product lines including yogurt, liquid and powdered milk, ice cream, and cheese.

Global Yogurt Market

Consumer Insights in the Yogurt Market

Dairy yogurt represents the 11th highest purchasing penetration globally among food and beverage categories, with 46% of consumers having purchased spoonable or drinkable yogurt in the past year. Non-dairy yogurt has the 89th highest penetration, with 10% of consumers having purchased it in the past year.

Dairy and non-dairy yogurt consumption skews towards higher income, highly educated Gen X and Millennials. Non-dairy yogurt specifically skews more towards vegan, pescatarian, flexitarian, and Gen Z consumers.

Dairy yogurt consumers tend to eat these products more often than non-dairy yogurt consumers. 57% of dairy yogurt consumers eat it 1 to 6 times per week, while 52% of non-dairy yogurt consumers say the same. However, non-dairy yogurt consumers are increasing their consumption rates faster than dairy yogurt consumers. Perceived healthiness and lifestyle changes drive increased consumption in the yogurt market.

Breakfast and afternoon snacking are the two main times for consumption for both dairy and non-dairy yogurt. Innova’s yogurt market trends research additionally shows that health, taste, and convenience are the top three reasons for consuming yogurt. Natural, safe, and low sugar claims are the top claims influencing dairy yogurt purchases, while low sugar, organic, and made with real ingredients are the top non-dairy yogurt claims.

New Product Launch Trends in the Global Yogurt Market

Since 2021, dairy yogurt launches have been growing at a steady pace. Since 2022, non-dairy yogurt launches have been growing as well, although at a far more rapid pace. Europe accounts for over half of all launches in the yogurt market. Additionally, Asia and Latin America each represent over 10% of dairy yogurt launches in the global yogurt market, and North America represents 10% of non-dairy launches.

Dairy yogurt accounts for 87% of yogurt launches in the yogurt market, while non-dairy yogurt represents the remaining 13%. Basic dairy yogurt accounts for most launches. In non-dairy yogurt launches, coconut milk, soy milk, and oat milk-based products are all growing.

Vegan and plant-based claims are on about two-thirds of non-dairy yogurt entries, while lactose free and vegetarian claims are growing. Additionally, more dairy based yogurt products are citing lactose-free claims in the past year.

Over 20% of yogurt products mention high-protein or low-fat features. While clean ingredient claims (organic, GMO free, no additives, natural) are also popular on yogurt, they are less common compared to five years ago. On the other hand, ethical environmental claims are being used more frequently on non-dairy yogurt products, now seen on 25% of launches.

Top Flavors and Ingredients in Yogurt

The top flavors in dairy yogurt launches are strawberry, vanilla, peach, blueberry, red raspberry, mango, and milk chocolate. The top flavors in non-dairy yogurt launches are vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, mango, passion fruit, and red raspberry. However, growth of these flavors in the past year has remained relatively static, allowing room for new flavors to grow.

The ingredient space in the yogurt market is changing. The top ingredients, namely thickeners, sugar, syrup and honey products, stabilizers, fruits, emulsifiers, gelling agents, starches, and preservatives, are all being used less in the past year. However, in dairy yogurt launches, sweeteners, foaming agents, binders, and antioxidants are all growing, while in non-dairy yogurt launches, probiotics, ‘other’, modified starches, edible oils, proteins, and pulses and beans are growing.

What’s Next in the Global Yogurt Market?

Yogurt market trend research shows that half of global consumers consider dairy yogurt as healthy, with about 20% citing high protein or functional ingredient as influential. These positive perceptions can serve as a springboard to increase consumption frequency and grow penetration. Brands can look towards expanding entries offering nutritional benefits, including high protein and added vitamins and minerals, as well as highlighting gut and immune health features like probiotics, high fiber and gluten free.

Non-dairy yogurt penetration is notably lower than dairy yogurt, with limited presence except in a few countries like the US and UK. However, many consumers are increasing their non-dairy yogurt intake. Brands can leverage this increased appetite from consumers by developing and launching more non-dairy yogurt introductions. Developing mixtures of existing non-dairy bases like coconut + oat can help deliver consumer accepted taste and texture. Additionally, brands can experiment with new or emergent bases such as lupine, chickpea, and buckwheat.


This article is based on our report, “Now & Next in Global Dairy & Dairy Alternative Yogurt.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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