Flavoured yoghurt is losing popularity as an increasing number of Australians turn to natural/plain yoghurt instead, according to new findings from Roy Morgan Research.

This change in the public’s tastes reflects trends seen across the convenience channel with an increasing number of consumers seeking better for you alternatives.

Over the last few years, flavoured/fruit yoghurt has been gradually losing popularity. In the 12 months to September 2011 more than half (52 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over) reported eating flavoured/fruit yoghurt in an average four weeks, compared with just 48 per cent doing so four years later in September 2015. Over the same period, the proportion eating natural/plain yoghurt surged from 36 per cent to 43 per cent.

Flavoured vs plain yoghurt: 2011 vs 2015

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Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, said that while a greater proportion of Australians still eat fruit/flavoured yoghurt than natural, the gap is closing.

“This increased tendency towards natural/plain yoghurt may well be the result of the public becoming more aware of the hidden sugars in so many flavoured yoghurts, or part of a broader move towards more ‘natural’ foods,” Levine said.

The increased popularity of natural yoghurt is being seen across both sexes with the proportion of men eating natural yoghurt in an average four weeks growing from 30 per cent to 36 per cent and the proportion of women eating it rising from 41 per cent to 49 per cent in the period between October 2010 and September 2015.

Natural/plain yoghurt consumption grew among all age groups (except young men aged under-25) with the most dramatic increases occurring among men and women aged between 25 and 34 years, followed closely by the 65+ age bracket.

The frequency with which Australians eat natural/plain yoghurt has also risen over the last few years. Some 23 per cent of natural yoghurt eaters consume it on a daily basis (up from 17 per cent in 2011) almost the same proportion as daily fruit/flavoured yoghurt eaters (25 per cent).

“Aussies who eat natural yoghurt every day are nearly 50 per cent more likely than the average Australian to agree that ‘I try to buy organic food whenever I can’,” Levine said.

“It is also interesting to see that daily consumers of natural yoghurt are twice as likely as the average Australian to eat all, or almost all, vegetarian food, suggesting that there is a conscious thought process behind their decision.

“It is essential for dairy brands with a flavoured yoghurt range to stay abreast of shifting attitudes and behaviour among Australian consumers, and adjust their marketing communications and brand image accordingly.”

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