Product Focus: Greek Yogurt

June 23, 2015
Formulators are mixing in real Greek yogurt or using Greek yogurt powder to add flavor, boost protein and give their product a marketing spin.

There’s no doubt Greek yogurt revolutionized the yogurt industry, and other food and beverage manufacturers want a piece of that growth. From beverages to bars, cereals to desserts, and sauces to dressings, formulators are either mixing in real Greek yogurt or using Greek yogurt powder to add flavor, boost protein and give their product a marketing spin.

“Greek yogurt has injected a lot of new excitement and activity in the industry. It went from being just 1 percent of the yogurt market in 2007 to becoming the most important trend shaping the industry,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, a market research firm based in Rockville, Md.

Jeff McLemore, vice president of North America marketing, Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, Calif., says, “People are looking for their favorite brands to incorporate Greek yogurt into the foods they already love.” In response, Sunsweet now offers Greek Style PlumSweets, which are diced dried plums with a Greek yogurt coating.

Post Foods LLC, Parsippany, N.J., was one of the first grain-based food manufacturers to include Greek yogurt. Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch cereal delivers Greek yogurt through the inclusion of two distinct crunchy granola clusters made with Greek yogurt powder. One has the Greek yogurt baked into the cluster and one has the cluster covered with a creamy Greek yogurt-style coating.

Formulating with actual yogurt is extremely difficult because it is a perishable, fermentable product. Most shelf-stable products use Greek yogurt powder because it is easier in terms of handling and stability. However, because it is a dried product and made through the use of heat, the powder no longer contains the live and active cultures found in refrigerated yogurt.

Greek Yogurt in Other Products

Subcategory 2010 2012 2014 2015¹
Dips 0 5 17 2
Dairy-based Frozen Products 0 24 7 5
Snack/Cereal/Energy Bars 0 7 14 0
Drinking Yogurt & Liquid Cultured Milk 0 6 8 1
Baby Fruit Products, Desserts & Yogurts 0 2 4 0
Dressings and Vinegar 0 0 4 2
Total Sample² 13 156 209 63

¹Through May 22

²Total sample includes 30 other categories

Greek Yogurt Products

Breakfast Biscuit Sandwiches

Snyder’s of Hanover, a business of Snyder’s-Lance Inc., enters the breakfast biscuit category with Lance Quick Starts. Similar to its other filled snack crackers, this breakfast-focused product comes in single-serve packages of six cracker sandwiches. In addition to Raspberry Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Greek Yogurt, there’s Bacon Cheddar, Blueberry Muffin, Chocolate Crème, Cinnamon Roll, Everything Bagel and Maple French Toast. Each pack provides 13g of whole grains, 3g of protein and 3g of fiber. They are sold in six-count boxes at a suggested retail price of $2.99.

Move Over Twinkie

After Hostess Brands LLC brought back Ding Dongs, Twinkies and Zingers, the company decided the time was right to offer something for the health-conscious consumer. The company developed Greek Yogurt Cakes in three varieties: Apple Cinnamon Swirl, Chocolate Swirl and Strawberry Swirl. Individually wrapped 40g cakes are sold in boxes of eight. Made with real fruit, honey and Greek yogurt powder, each cake contains 150 calories, 5g of fat, 13g of sugar, 2g of fiber and a mere 1g of protein.

Permission to Indulge

Wolfgang Candy Co., debuted Wolfgang Greek Style Yogurt Snacks at Sweets & Candy Expo 2015. A 5.3-oz. pack contains 10 individually wrapped confections based on a sweetened compound made with Greek yogurt powder. The Key Lime variety has the yogurt compound filled with real key lime. The Blood Orange & Mango, Blueberry and Peach varieties blend the yogurt compound with bits of real fruit. Three confections provide 2g of protein.

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