As Americans clamor for more convenient and healthy food options, yogurt is turning out to be one of their top choices.
Among packaged foods and snacks, only quick breakfast options, yogurt and a few types of snacks–mainly healthier options–increased their household penetration rates by one percentage point or more during the past few years, according to a new “On-the-Go Eating” study from the Packaged Facts division of MarketResearch.com.
On the yogurt front, Yoplait’s household penetration grew 1.4 points, to 19.8%. (Stonyfield Farm’s gain was just short of one percentage point, rising from 1.7% to 2.4%.)
Among snacks, most of the significant gainers were brands positioned as healthy choices. These included Nature Valley Bars (up nearly three percentage points, to 10.3%), the Power Bar (from zero to 2%) and Nabisco Fruit Snacks (zero to 1.6%). The rest of the big on-the-go packaged food brands were stagnant, or saw slight losses, in terms of household penetration.
Sales trends more or less mirror the penetration trends. PF’s analysis of IRI data for mass-market outlets (supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, excluding Wal-Mart) shows yogurt as the No.1 dollar gainer between 2005 and 2006: up $185 million (7.2%), to $2.8 billion. Dannon’s new Activa brand did much to boost the category (ringing up $126 million last year), as did all of Yoplait’s yogurt and yogurt drink selections (the brand’s Light Thick And Creamy and Light varieties saw sales increases of $34 million and $32 million, respectively, for example.)