Yogurt boom in India

Organised retail formats are helping fuel a boom in India’s yogurt industry.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 40-45 per cent annually, the yogurt industry is likely to touch Rs1200 crore (about US$230 million) by 2015, according to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

Premium retail brands like Red Mango and Cocoberry have recognised the huge growth potential and are expanding in the nation.

At the retail end, the frozen yogurt segment is being eyed by big players like Amul, Mother Dairy and Nestle.

Factors fuelling the growth include the wide availability of raw material (milk), a growing willingness among consumers to experiment and increasing disposable income.

“Consumers becoming increasingly concerned about hygiene and fat and nutritional content, demand for packaged yoghurt is expected to rise robustly in coming years,” said D S Rawat, secretary general at ASSOCHAM.

The flavoured yogurt is rapidly becoming a part of regular grocery purchases for many affluent urban households in second- and third-tier cities. Low/no fat and low/no sugar yogurts are also new trends in the market, says Rawat.

Frozen yogurt (plain and flavored) has already started to replace ice cream to a certain extent. Consumers have already started to look at it not only as a healthy snack but also as a healthy replacement for meals, he said.

Several health-conscious mothers and youngsters are switching to frozen/flavoured yogurt from drinks or ice cream. However, consumption in India still stands at a nascent 0.3 kg per capita every year as compared to 17.8 kg in France.

Rawat said Indian consumers are in a transition phase, from homemade food to packaged food products. As food habits are changing, they are now becoming more health conscious.

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