Australia

Sugar-awareness likely behind drop in popularity of flavoured yoghurts

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock
Flavoured yoghurts have been witnessing a downward slide over the last few years in Australia, while plain varieties have seen a general upswing, according to new market research.

In 2015, 48% of Australians ate at least one flavoured yoghurt each month, compared to 52% in 2011. Over the same period, the proportion eating natural or plain varieties surged from 36% to 43%, closing the gap on the traditionally more popular rival. 

Natural yoghurt’s newfound popularity appears to be an equal-opportunity phenomenon, with ever-increasing numbers of men and women picking it. Between October 2010 and September 2015, the proportion of Australian men who ate natural yoghurt in an average month grew from 30% to 36%, while the figure for women rose from 41% to 49%. 

Yoghurt
Flavoured vs plain yoghurt: 2011 vs 2015

While plain yoghurt consumption grew among all age groups except young men aged under-25, the most dramatic increases occurred among men and women aged between 25 and 34 years, followed closely by the 65-plus age bracket. 

The frequency with which Australians eat plain yoghurt has also grown over the last few years. Some 23% of natural-yoghurt eaters now consume it on a daily basis—up from 17% in 2011—to almost the same proportion as flavoured yoghurt (25%). 

Weekly consumption has grown from 29% to 30% over the same timeframe, though still short of flavoured yoghurt (34%) 

The gap is closing​,” said Michele Levine, chief executive of Roy Morgan Research, which carried out the survey. “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​. 

It is certainly noteworthy that Aussies who eat natural yoghurt every day are nearly 50% more likely than the average Australian to agree that ‘I try to buy organic food whenever I can’.​”

Daily consumers of natural yoghurt are also twice as likely to eat all, or almost all, vegetarian food, suggesting that there is a conscious thought process behind their decision.

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