Source: Ref. 41.
the increasing varieties of yogurt products and flavors in the marketplace will contribute to continued growth in yogurt sales in the United States.
One innovation that has had a profound impact on the acceptability and increased sales of yogurt in the United States since fall 1998 is portable yogurt (8). Portable yogurt has been targeted to three different segments of the population: toddlers (Yumsters), children (Go-GURT, Trix yogurt, YoSqueeze), and adults (Expresse). Go-Gurt sales in 1999 were 63 million, with 24.8 million unit sales, up more than 500% over the previous year when the product was introduced (9). Sales of yogurt shakes and drinks (Danimals, Nouriche, Yo-J) were reported to increase 270% between 1999 and 2001, as the fairly new category gained strength (6). In 2001, kids were targeted with DANNON SPRINKL'INS, low-fat yogurt with special''surprise'' toppings, and Kemps Spoonz'N Yogurt, with edible vanilla cookie spoons attached to 4-oz (140 g) cups of yogurt. Even toddlers are a target market for yogurt. Stonyfield Farm introduced Yo Baby organic whole milk yogurt, in convenient 4-oz cups, in the fall of 1999 (8). Although adults still account for 84% of the yogurt category volume, marketers understand the importance of establishing eating habits and brand loyalty in the young (10).
In fall 2001, DANNON introduced La Creme, a product with a creamy texture in five different subtle flavors, available in packs of four 4-oz cups (11). This product was created for people who like the concept of yogurt but don't necessarily like its sharp taste. In January 2002, Whips! a mousse-like whipped yogurt, was introduced to the market by Yoplait (11). Mild and sweet in flavor and fluffy in body, whipped yogurt may be more acceptable to individuals who have not embraced the sharp flavor of traditional yogurt, and it may significantly enhance sales in the yogurt category in 2002-2003.
U.S. sour cream sales constitute only about 28% of yogurt sales (13). In 1999, sour cream sales topped 560 million, or 425 million units, up 10% from the previous year (9). In 2000, sour cream sales topped 587 million, up 3.3% from the previous year, compared to 2.1 billion in sales for yogurt (12). In 2001 and 2002, dollar sales grew to over 655 and 669 million, up 10.2% and 9.7%, respectively (10,14). Sour cream, primarily used as an ingredient and potato or ethnic food topper, did not experience many innovations until recently, including convenient packaging, eye-catching graphics, and seasonings (14). One innovation that added life to the sour cream market is squeezable sour cream, first introduced by Kemps in 1999 (15). Since then, many companies have introduced squeezable varieties. Inclusion of chive and onion flavors to squeezable sour cream by Shamrock Farms improved volume sales in 2000 (13,14) The sour cream category also benefits from the growing popularity of Mexican foods among U.S. consumers (14).
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