There is an increasing demand for yogurt drinks worldwide, particularly in Asia Pacific because of the rising consumption in countries like China and Japan, according to Vijay Sirathi, a Technavio food and beverage research analyst. The Asia Pacific region dominated the market last year, accounting for a market share of 39 percent, and this is a trend that is expected to continue with rising consumption in the region; the market researcher predicts the region’s share will increase to 45 percent by 2020.
Even in the west, growth in the drinkable yogurt is being seen in Europe (five percent per year) and in the US (2.1 percent per year). While the growth in US is modest, researchers predict a larger growth may be seen in frozen rather than drinkable yogurt, as it has seen more than 20 percent growth in sales per year.
Due to more consumers in the Asia Pacific becoming aware of the importance of health and becoming more conscious when it comes to diet, more are consuming drinking yogurts because they are healthier and more indulgent than other sugar drinks. As a result, yogurt drink manufacturers are investing heavily in dairy farms to ensure a steady supply of milk for the product of yogurt drinks, says Mr Sirathi.
In countries like Brazil, Russia and India, there seems to be a greater potential for this market. The influence of Western lifestyles and tastes as well as the growing disposable income among younger consumers is encouraging a launch of innovative variants, explained Mr Sirathi. Market players are therefore taking advantage of this trend and launching products infused with local flavours or even savoury flavours such as beetroot, carrot or tomato. Others have included probiotic combinations or emphasised on their naturally sourced ingredients.