Yogurt is usually the most dynamic mover, and the most competitive of the cultured product categories and 2005 is no exception. According to recent figures from Information Resources Inc., the entire yogurt category grew 8.8% in unit sales during the 12 weeks leading up to Feb. 20. These numbers are for food, drugstore and mass merchandiser sales and do not include Wal-Mart, or convenience stores.
During the same 12-week period, seven out of the top ten brands grew unit sales and only one showed a decline in dollar sales. And all of those that grew unit sales did so by at least 5%.
Taking a wider chronological view, with the second table, dollar sales for the yogurt category jumped 7.7% for the 52 weeks leading up to Feb. 20, while unit sales grew 4.5%.
Yoplait Light has moved into third place (after private label and Yoplait Original) in the past year, and continues to grow at an impressive pace. Stonyfield Farm is growing faster than any other brand and looks as if it is poised to take the number seven spot.
Turning our attention to cottage cheese, where private label is very dominant, sales were fairly flat for the period leading up to Feb. 20, but the brands that shined were those with added value and improved packaging. Breakstone Cottage Doubles, which features fruit and cheese in separate compartments, saw a whopping 23% growth in unit sales, while the Dean's brand, which recently was treated to a major packaging makeover, jumped 5.7% by unit.
Sour cream grew slightly for the period, with unit sales up 1.7%. Dollar sales spiked 7.3%, probably due to higher commodity prices. Private label did much better than most brands during this period, growing substantially by both measures.