Packing protein and probiotics, yogurt has established itself as a go-to snack in terms of better-for-you food choices. While the emergence of Greek yogurt and all its varieties throughout the past few years has propelled the category to new heights, it’s no secret these sales have begun to mature. Because of this, researchers at Packaged Facts are saying it’s time food marketers look beyond Greek yogurt to find other ways to keep the category growing.

In its report, The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation, 2nd Edition, Packaged Facts says marketers are now turning their attention to segments with growth potential such as babies/toddlers and kids. The industry is also trying to expand consumption to other dayparts besides breakfast, particularly emphasizing yogurt as a snack, researchers say.  Presently, the majority of yogurt is consumed before 11 a.m. with very little consumption after 4 p.m.

Packaged Facts estimates the US market for yogurt sold at retail to be almost $9 billion in 2014, up 3.4 percent.  This growth can be attributed to one subcategory:  Greek yogurt.

“Greek yogurt went from being just 1 percent of the market in 2007 to becoming the most important trend shaping the industry,” researchers say.  “However, growth has slowed considerably in the last year, down from recent years when it was high single digits or more annually.  Nevertheless, the market's outlook remains favorable so long as marketers continue to expand the presence of yogurt into other areas. Looking ahead, Packaged Facts estimates that yogurt sales will hit $10.3 billion by 2017.”