When it comes to yogurt, it’s all Greek
Yogurt and yogurt drinks have become a powerhouse category, with Greek-style yogurts boosting category sales. Mintel International Group estimated that category sales reached $4.4 billion across all three channels in 2010, and there is still room for growth.
Mintel research showed that incidence of use increased over the last five years. Nearly 60% of American adults said they eat yogurt an average of 7.5 times a month. With per capita annual yogurt consumption in the United States only a fraction of what it is in Europe, the category is “far from saturated,” according to the market research firm.
“Prospects for continued growth appear solid,” Mintel recently reported on the category. “The segment will maintain its steady rate of growth over the next five years, fueled by increasing interest in healthier eating and continued heavy marketing support from major corporations.”
General Mills and Groupe Danone dominate the market. Growth of the latter’s Activia and Danimals brands gave Groupe Danone a lead over General Mills last year. Danone also has gained traction with its Stonyfield Oikos and Dannon Greek yogurts.
Greek yogurt brands helped smaller companies make solid gains in the category last year. Chobani, made by Agro Farma, and Fage have seen increases of 200% and 65%, respectively, over last year.
New products also have helped propel the yogurt category. Mintel reported that new product introductions “picked up substantially in 2010 in both the refrigerated yogurt and drinkable yogurt segments.”
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Yogurt Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Delivering on a ‘fresh’ message
Delivering fresh food to underserved communities doesn’t necessarily mean giving up shelf space.
In April, retired Sysco chairman and CEO Rick Schnieders launched MoGro with his wife, Beth, out of concern about growing rates of obesity and diabetes. MoGro is a mobile grocery company that currently delivers fresh produce, meats, dairy, canned goods and staples to Native American communities in New Mexico. The company currently has one truck that serves two communities per day, but hopes to expand so that it can serve six communities per truck. Produce comes from a variety of local and regional suppliers, and the company partners with La Montanita, a five-store natural food retailer.
MoGro is not the first to take the supermarket concept on the road. In Naples, Fla., a Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi launched Kosher on Wheels, which delivers kosher meat, dairy, baked and canned goods in a 28-ft. trailer to observant Jewish families that otherwise would have to drive all the way to Miami.
A word about the cover
Ever see the movie “Pleasantville,” where the kid and his sister get sucked into their TV set and become trapped in a late-1950s sitcom? As the two introduce 1990s sensibilities to inhabitants of the fictitious town, the people and their surroundings slowly transform from black-and-white to color. The film is a metaphor for enlightenment, innovation and discovery.
It’s also an interesting way to think of the current fresh food movement in drug store merchandising. This is more than just good business — call it enlightened discovery. Fresh is bringing new color to the store, and importantly into customers’ diets. And fresh has the potential to color perceptions of what the drug store represents to the community.
Take Chicago as an example. According to the June 2011 Chicago Food Desert Progress Report, over the past year, areas of the city that had been designated as food deserts contracted from about 64 to 55 square miles. In terms of the people affected by this, the food desert “population” decreased from 550,382 to 383,954, or about 30%, between 2010 and 2011, according to the research compiled annually by Mari Gallagher Research & Consulting Group since 2006. Over the last five years, Chicago’s food desert population has decreased 39%.
Behind this improvement have been massive commitments from such companies as Walgreens and Walmart, because in reality, fresh doesn’t exactly grow on trees. “Moving 166,428 people from a food desert to a food oasis … is not a small accomplishment,” Gallagher Group reported. “To put that number in perspective, consider that is roughly equivalent in population size to the city of Rockford, which is the fourth-largest metropolitan area and third-largest city in Illinois.”
At the end of “Pleasantville,” even the geography of the town has been forever reshaped in the name of enlightened discovery; Main St., which once was locked in an infinite circuit stuck forever inside the fictitious town, now leads to other cities and towns.
Fresh is the freshest idea right now in drug store merchandising, bringing new color to the store and to shoppers’ diets. And it is reshaping the geography in the inner cities, transforming food deserts to oases of health and nutrition.