After years of growth, overall U.S. sales of yogurt are declining, even as options proliferate in retailers’ refrigerated cases.
The Wall Street Journal reports that overall sales fell 4% by volume in the 12 months ending in February, according to Nielsen sales data. Sales of Greek yogurt, which is credited with setting off the category’s explosive growth, fell 11%.
Some of the biggest players said the market is becoming saturated by too many choices, including Greek, non-flavored, private label and Icelandic Skyr (which is still growing but has only a 2.4% market share). The Journal quoted the marketing firm Acosta as saying the average supermarket has more than 300 yogurt SKUs.
The category’s future is debatable. Packaged Facts predicts that U.S. yogurt sales will reach $9.8 billion by 2022, while Mintel gives a figure of only $8.2 billion, which would be a 3.5% drop from current sales.
As recently as 2012, Food Processing's Capital Spending Report examined the proliferation of yogurt plants.