Specialty Food Magazine


Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 85 of 131

The Pint-Size Market Its healthful properties, portability, and rich, creamy taste make yogurt a hit with kids and parents alike. According to an August 2013 Mintel report on yogurt and yogurt drinks, "Households with children represent a key audience for yogurt brands as parents are more likely to buy yogurt of all types." Sure enough, this market category has seen a surfeit of innovation, with companies introducing fun flavors and bright, creative packaging formats. Potentially following on the success of refrigerated smoothies geared towards kids (namely Stonyfield YoKids Smoothies), Sprout Organic Foods has introduced Sprout Smash Organic Kids Snack Pouches, including a Greek yogurt and superfruit variety. Other novel introductions include Lifeway Foods ProBugs line featuring drinkable or freeze-dried kefir; Happy Family Happy Tot Morning squeezable pouches (with yogurt, fruits, and oats); and Siggi's squeezable yogurt tubes. Packaging Refresh Yogurt itself isn't the only innovation. Food companies have been shaking up packaging, introducing cups with "sidecars" (as with Fage's Total Greek yogurt line), cups with top compartments for toppings (as with YoCrunch), and cups in smaller sizes (as with Chobani Bite and Simply 100 Greek yogurts). Much packaging creativity has been bestowed on the kids subcategory, with small smoothie bottles, squeezable tubes, freeze-dried melts or bites, and shelf-stable pouches. Meanwhile, eco-conscious companies, such as Stonyfield, are opting for more sustainable packaging; the company introduced the first plant-based yogurt cup in 2010. Innovation shows no sign of stopping on all fronts, and with fore- casts from the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association saying the category is expected to top $9 billion by 2017, the yogurt case is sure to be a grocery hotspot for years to come. Whelan says she sees a trend in atypical f lavors. "One of our best sellers in Greek yogurt is the maple f lavor from Green Mountain Creamery. We also do well with pineapple. In sheep yogurt [from Bellwether Farms], we do well with seasonal f lavors like spiced apple and unique ones like blackberry," she explains. "I have also seen some terrific Middle Eastern–f lavored yogurts, which may become an item in the future." At Sahadi's, labneh gets f lavored with zaatar, garlic, herbs, and other seasonings. Yogurt for Dessert Perhaps spurred on by the frozen yogurt craze, companies are turn- ing out fresh yogurts in decadent flavors. "More dessert yogurts are coming out, with the intention of broadening yogurt's appeal beyond breakfast food or a smoothie ingredient," says PCC Natural Markets' Owen. Tillamook introduced a Dessert Yogurt line in three flavors: marionberry cobbler, peach raspberry a la mode, and honey cinnamon creme brulee. The line allows consumers to "still indulge in a treat, but in a healthier way than reaching for cookies or cake," Prewett explains. Category giant Chobani includes several über-sweet f lavors in its 3.5-ounce Bite line, including mint with dark chocolate chips and caramel with pineapple chunks. Its 5.3-ounce Flip line comes in such varieties as Key Lime Crumble and Raspberry Choco Fix. The Greek Gods, a Hain Celestial brand, recently added a honey and salted caramel f lavor. Super-Sizing Yogurt is becoming a staple in the kitchen. "One major trend we have noticed is the incorporation of yogurt as a substitute for tradi- tional food items, like mayonnaise, sour cream, butter, and especially dips," says Mary Beth Cowardin, director of marketing produce at T. Marzetti Company, which produces the Otria line of Greek yogurt vegetable and fruit dips. Whether stirred into marinades, dips, sauces, or batters or customized with mix-ins, the product is selling increasingly in large containers. PCC Natural Markets' Owen says sales of 16-ounce and higher containers are up. Similarly, at Sahadi's, "one of our surprise hits is our loose Greek yogurt from Kesso Foods. It's rich and thick and customers buy it by the pound and season it as they like," says Whelan. Roughly half the yogurt Formaggio Kitchen sells is in large sizes, such as Greek yogurt from Sophia's Greek Pantry, offered by the pound, says Spira. "We sell our yogurt in larger sizes only: 2-pound containers," says Cabot's Levine. "There has been a steadier growth of large sizes. Consumers are less scared of bulk sizes due to shopping at bulk stores, like Costco." Cabot has even created a substitution guide to teach consumers how to use Greek-style yogurt in place of oil, but- ter, sour cream, and creme fraiche. Dina Cheney is the "Taste Test" columnist for Every Day with Rachael Ray, plus the author of several cookbooks, including the new Year-Round Slow Cooker and the forthcoming Meatless All Day. Packaging innovations in yogurt include kid- friendly products, bite-size packs, and mix-ins. SPRING 2014 83 CatSpotlight_yogurt.indd 83 3/17/14 3:54 PM

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