In the cultured dairy aisle it’s still hard to keep up with yogurt, with new products popping up everywhere and the fascination with Greek yogurt still holding strong. But one cultured product is pushing its way up. Refrigerated dips saw a decent increase in sales overall, while its cultured dairy counterparts cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream struggled.

In the 52 weeks ended Jan. 26, 2014, the yogurt category’s dollar sales grew 7.5% to $7 billion and units went up 3.3% to 5 billion, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. In the same time period, the refrigerated dips category showed promise with dollar sales up 3.4% to $688.3 million, and units up 2.5% to 250.8 million.

IRI reported the following numbers for these cultured dairy categories:

  • Yogurt ($7 billion, units up 3.3%)
  • Cream Cheese/Cream Cheese Spread ($1.4 billion, units down 1.3%)
  • Sour Cream ($1 billion, units up 0.1%)
  • Cottage Cheese ($1 billion, units down 1.1%)
  • Refrigerated Dips ($688.3 million, units up 2.5%)

In the refrigerated dip category, the big winner among the top 10 was Sabra Dipping Co. Its dollar sales and units skyrocketed 142.4% and 141.2%, respectively. Yucatan’sdollar sales jumped 30.7% and units went up 33.9%. Among the top five, Wholly Guacamole (Fresherized Foods) made its mark: dollar sales rose 13.8% to $59.7 million and units went up 18.6%.  Not faring so well was Marzetti (T. Marzetti Co.); dollar sales dropped 7.9% and units fell 6.1%.

Next to yogurt, the biggest category in cultured with overall sales is cream cheese/cream cheese spread, with $1.4 billion. Sales for this category went up 1.2%, but units fell 1.3%. The category includes these segments:

  • Brick ($669.6 million, units down 3.8%)
  • Soft ($643.5 million, units up 1.9%)
  • Whipped ($140.2 million, units up 2.1%)
  • Balls ($1.3 million, units down 15.3%)

The soft segment had some gains, with sales up 3.2% and units up 1.9%. Among the top 10, Organic Valley and Vermont Butter & Cheese saw the biggest increases, with sales up 34.7% and 8.6%, and units up 30.1% and 9.7%, respectively. Laughing Cow Smooth Sensations (Bel Brands USA) saw the biggest drop with sales down 33.5% and units down 20.3%. In the brick segment, one brand stood out dramatically. Green Mountain Farms (Franklin Foods) saw dollar sales and units skyrocket 2,173% and 2,499.6%, respectively, with the average price per unit going down 30 cents. 

The sour cream category had minimal change in numbers – dollar sales fell 0.05% to $1 billion, and units went up 0.1%. Among the top 10, Hood (H.P. Hood) was the biggest winner with dollar sales up 9.1% and units up 7.8%.  Kraft Simply (Kraft Foods) was the biggest loser: dollar sales dropped 9.5% and units fell 17.8%.

Over in the same dairy aisle, the cottage cheese category also struggled to get numbers up. Dollar sales fell 1.4% to $1 billion, and units dropped 1.1%. In the top 10, Hiland Dairy Foods and Daisy Brand were the winners, with dollar sales up 38.8% and 18.3%, and units up 30.8 and 17.2%, respectively. Breakstones (Kraft Foods) saw units up 6.3%, but dollar sales dropped 3.5%. The average price per unit went down 29 cents, which could have contributed to the sales loss. Also struggling was Deans. Its dollar sales fell 1.4% and units were down 4.7%.