Pandemic Gave Yogurt Consumption a Needed Boost

Cleveland OH, June 24, 2022 – Yogurt consumption, and demand for related packaging, has been steadily on the wane since the Greek yogurt trend peaked around 2015. Then the pandemic happened.

As consumers ate more meals at home, they also purchased more yogurt, including trying new brands and formats. Interest in yogurt as both a healthy snack and a better-for-you dessert rose, driving numerous introductions of innovative yogurt styles and flavor profiles, many premium items.

This had a significant impact on the $566 million market for yogurt packaging in the US, according to the Freedonia Group.

In a newly published analysis, the market research firm finds that the increase in yogurt consumption during the pandemic promoted demand for yogurt packaging such as single-serve cups, pouches, and bottles, and particularly larger bulk-volume tubs and pouches. Additionally, increased demand for sustainable packaging – which often costs more – promoted value gains. However, market maturity in the key spoonable segment continued to weigh down growth.

Yogurt Brands Aim to Improve Packaging Sustainability

As in the larger food industry, improving packaging sustainability is an important goal of yogurt brands and their packaging suppliers, with reducing the use of virgin plastics and improving recyclability representing key targets of these efforts. For example:

  • A growing number of yogurt producers are looking for ways to increase their use of paper, which is recycled at higher rates than plastic and has a sustainable, high-value image. Notably, in August 2021, Chobani launched a paper cup for its oat milk-based yogurt product line.
  • Suppliers of plastic packaging are looking for ways to increase recycling rates and the use of recycled plastic content, but also to benefit from the appeal of paper with the use of higher-end wrap labels.

Additional strategies suppliers are pursuing to make yogurt packaging more sustainable include:

  • innovations that make plastic easier to recycle (e.g., monolayer pouches)
  • development of compostable and/or degradable alternative packaging materials
  • source reduction efforts like replacing rigid lids with plastic or foil lidding

Want to Learn More?

Yogurt Packaging, now available from the Freedonia Group, provides historical data (2010, 2015, and 2020) and forecasts for 2025 for yogurt packaging demand by value in current dollars (including inflation) by application, product, and material.

Applications:

  • spoonable yogurt
  • squeezable yogurt
  • drinkable yogurt

Products:

  • cups
  • tubs
  • bottles and jars
  • pouches (e.g., pillow, stand-up, and side seal) and bags
  • boxes and folding cartons
  • other yogurt packaging (e.g., lidding, sleeves)

Materials:

  • plastic (including bioplastics)
  • other materials (e.g., paper and paperboard, glass, foil)