For the past few years, yogurt has been touted as a healthy go-to breakfast option, especially since all consumers have to do is add some granola or fruit pieces or drizzle on some honey for a better-for-you on-the-go snack.
Regardless of its healthy attributes though, certain yogurt brands have displayed lackluster sales figures, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.
Although total sales are up 8.3% for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2010, certain brands showed decreases.
For instance, while private label maintained its No. 1 slot with $407.6 million in sales, it also dropped 3.1% in dollar sales since last year. On the other hand, General Mills’ Light snagged the No. 2 spot with $402.1 million in sales with a 5.4% uptick in dollar sales, whereas Yoplait Original claimed the No. 3 position with $390.2 million in sales, thanks to its new offerings with extra calcium, but undertook a 0.8% decline in dollar sales.
Other brands also saw sales decrease. Dannon Danactive, for instance, came in at No. 18 with an 18.5% drop in dollar sales, while Dannon Natural dropped 9.2%. Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy took the No. 17 slot with a 16.4% decline in dollar sales, and Yoplait Trix underscored a 10.5% dip.
What goes down must come up
Regardless of how consumers “dress up” their yogurt, some low sales figures are only temporary, according to sales history from SymphonyIRI.
Yogurt sales have been growing every quarter compared to the previous period. In the four 13-week periods of 2010 (beginning with March 28), sales increased 5.6%, 9.2%, 9.9% and 8.5%, according to SymphonyIRI data (see table).
Meanwhile, yogurt brands continue to top the charts with an array of new product innovations, flavors and packaging designs to help curdle in more sales.
Chobani experienced the largest increase in sales with a 230.3% jump, thanks to its selection of Greek yogurt offerings, available in black cherry, lemon, honey and strawberry, among others. Produced by Agro Farma, Chobani also developed Chobani Champions, which is a line of Greek yogurt targeting kids.
“Since day one, our focus has been to make Chobani a priority in the main dairy sets,” says Kyle O’Brien, vice president of sales. “Thanks to our amazing team, avid fan base and retailer support, Chobani is the No. 1 Greek yogurt brand in America. But from our perspective, the yogurt story in this country has yet to be told. We’re excited to be a part of it and to keep climbing.”
Other chart-toppers include Stonyfield Farm’s Oikos organic Greek yogurt (67.5%) and Yoplait GoGurt (12%).
For its part, The Dannon Co. fared well with some healthy sales results from its lineup of better-for-you yogurt brands. For starters, Dannon Activia garnered 20.4%. Another healthy brand is recently introduced Activia Parfait Crunch, a blend of Activia low-fat yogurt, fruit pieces and low-fat granola that delivers 220 calories and 3 grams of fat per 6-ounce container. (Sales figures were not yet available for this new product.) Likewise, Dannon took in 18.6% dollar sales whereas Dannon Activia Light and Dannon Danimals saw 15.2% and 13.2% gains in dollar sales, respectively.
Despite the roller-coaster sales results, the health benefits behind a cup of yogurt help this category continue rising to the top.
Editor’s Note: For more on the yogurt category, check out our upcoming Cultured Trends report in the April 2011 issue. Also see the Dairy Detective column about Greek yogurt in the January 2011 and the November 2010 State of the Industry report.