Healthy yoghurts lead the way

Related tags Yoghurt Marketing Milk Fruit

With retail sales of yoghurt set to continue significant growth
this year in the Asia Pacific region, the number of niche launches,
particularly those focusing on health-giving qualities, is on the
increase, as the latest look at the Mintel database confirms.

According to market analysts Euromonitor​yoghurt is recording a healthy growth at a world level and Asia Pacific is not an exception to this trend. Euromonitor's Francisco Redruello estimates that retail sales of yoghurt will reach $6,067 million in 2004, around 13 per cent up on the previous year.

" We expect consumption per-capita in the region to reach $2 by the end of 2004, far behind the mark expected for western Europe, around $33 per capita the same year,"​ Redruello said. "However, this figure gives an idea about the potential of sales in Asia Pacific, especially in fast-developing market such as China."

Japan is by far the most developed market and Euromonitor expects retail sales to reach $4,221 million by the end of 2004. Fruited yoghurt, accounting for a third of total sales, will be one of the key drivers in the growth of the sector. Fruited yoghurt has maintained its leading position by securing an ambiguous position where manufacturers react to the latest trends in fruit consumption to maintain consumer interest. Strawberry fruited yoghurt is becoming especially popular among Japanese consumers.

China, on the other hand, is an incipient market and yoghurt has a large potential of growth here. Euromonitor estimates that retail sales will reach $425 mn by the end of 2004, 20 per cent up on the previous year. Fruited and pro-biotic yoghurts, with a combined share of 20 per cent over total sector sales, are playing a pivotal role in the growth of the sector.

"Fruited yoghurt in China is mainly targeted at young female consumers and is generally perceived as a more premium product than flavoured yoghurt. Increasing awareness over health is pushing up sales of pro-biotic yoghurt as well,"​ said Redruello. "Euromonitor expects a growth of 40 per cent in value 2004, driven by consumption from middle classes in urban areas."

Indeed the product launches start off in the China market, where Wahaha is launching its naturally sweetened Yoghurt Drink. A brand new product on the market it is packaged in a 750 ml folded cardboard carton that is expected to retail for €0.98. Ingredients include, milk , apple juice, citric acid, culture and sugar.

Turning to New Zealand Meadow Fresh is launching Calci Kids Hokey Pokey Slide, a new product range for the market there. Packaged in four individual moulded plastic tubs, the product is said to contain 50 per cent more calcium as well as vitamins A and D. The product is aimed at children in the age group 5 to 12, who are generally deemed to have a higher vitamin requirements.

In Singapore German dairy giant Müller is launching its Probiotic Yoghurt Drink under the Müller Vitality brand. This functional low fat peach flavoured drink comes in a 6 x 100 gram pack, which includes six PET moulded bottles, wrapped together in printed cardboard. It is expected to retail at €5.91 when it is launched on the market during the course of this month. Ingredients incluce peach juice concentrate, glucose-fructose syrup and low fat yoghurt and will be marketed on the strength of its 'healthy' bacteria content.

In Vietnam Qua Mo Vang is launching Sua Chua Special Fruit under its Tras brand. A brand new product it will be launched in 400 gram plastic tubs that are expected to retail at €0.72. As a mixed fruit yoghurt it contains grape, pineapple, cherry and banana, as well as coconut get and sugar.

In the Philippines Swiss dairy giant Nestlé is about to launch its Fruit Selection Yoghurt on to the market. Packaged in 125 gram plastic tubs with a foil lid, the product is expected to retail at €0.38. This is a coconut flavoured yoghurt, which the manufacturers claim provides healthy benefits bought about by the inclusion of live micro-organisms. It is also said to be a good solution for those that are lactose intolerance.

This range of yoghurts is part of a selection from Mintel's Globa New Product Database​.

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