When European food makers speak about the potential for their products in the United States, their pupils dilate, they salivate and their hearts race. Take yogurt, for example. Here, we eat 12.8 pounds per person per year. In parts of Europe, annual consumption is as high as 60 pounds per person. Canadians also eat more yogurt than Americans. Per capita consumption was about 22.2 pounds in 2011. If the U.S. just reached Canadian proportions, it would mean nearly doubling the category, which today is valued at approximately $5.5 billion, according to Dannon.
As it is, yogurt consumption in the United States is growing. It was up 8.3% in 2010 compared to 2009, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data published in Dairy Facts by the International Dairy Foods Association. Only flavored milk showed a greater increase (13.5%). Third was frozen yogurt, increasing 7.2% to 0.64 pounds per person.