Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks Keep Jumping

Sales of yogurt drinks were up nearly 12% by unit measure in the most recent quarter, and the top brands of yogurt in all forms continue to grow sales and gain market share. Meanwhile, sales of sour cream improved in the same quarter after a lengthy period of decline.

First, the yogurt drink category has experienced three straight quarters of double-digit unit sales growth. Dollar sales were also up 6.4% in the quarter ended June 25, according to IRI. These numbers represent food stores, drugstores and mass merchandisers other than Wal-Mart. Growth in this exciting sub-category slowed a bit in the middle of last year, but as it turns out, that was just a breather. The number of units sold reached 60 million in the second quarter this year.

Looking at market share for the top five brands of yogurt in all forms, private label is still the market leader, but not by much, and it's losing market share while the top four branded products are gaining. Yoplait original is just behind private label with 11.1% share and it's gaining share faster than any of the other leaders. Stonyfield Farm is second, growing nearly as fast as Yoplait Original, as was Dannon Light and Fit. Both still have a smaller share than Yoplait Light, but it grew share by just 1.2% during the year ended July 16.

It should be noted that these brands are individual brands, so the Stonyfield sales figure of $118 million does not include sales of Stonyfield YoBaby, which was ranked 16th with sales of about $43 million.

Meanwhile quarterly sales of sour cream climbed to $164 million for the quarter ended June 25-a jump of 2.8% from the second quarter 2005. Might not sound like much, but considering that unit sales were up too, and that the last time both measures increased was in the first quarter of 2005, sour cream makers might have something to smile about.

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With October's International Issue, Dairy Market Trends will focus on global sales trends.