Thursday, August 27, 2015

Innovative Yogurt Concepts: Adding Flavorful Bits and Pieces

It’s less than three weeks until the International Dairy Show takes place in Chicago (September 15 to 18). Today’s blog sponsor—Parker Products—will be exhibiting at booth 8416. Inclusions for both yogurt and ice cream are always a big part of the Dairy Show. Parker will be showcasing its extensive range of flavorful inclusions that can be customized by color, flavor, size and texture. For more information, link HERE.

This overview of the global refrigerated yogurt category suggests that there are many textures and flavors for processors to explore to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. We’ve only just begun!

In the U.S., yogurt volume sales as well as yogurt prices are up. Although the Greek segment continues to mature, it still is posting growth, while both Australian and Icelandic styles are gaining traction.

Data Source: IRI DMI Custom Database, Courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association

Recent Innovations

Canada’s first crunchy Greek yogurt, Liberté Greek Seeds and Fruit, is a carefully crafted mix of whole sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds with fruit, which complements the creamy texture of the 2%-milkfat Greek yogurt. The yogurt line made its initial debut in two varieties—Pineapple & Banana and Strawberry—and comes in the increasingly popular 150-gram bowl format, also referred to as a tub.

Sold in packs of two, a single-serve bowl contains 180 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber (from all those seeds!), 18 to 19 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein (from both the seeds, the milk and the added milk protein.) The product is positioned as a mini meal or snack.

In the States, General Mills recently introduced Yoplait Plenti. This bowl-style product is based on nonfat Greek yogurt, with the nutrient-dense inclusions adding fat back to the formulation. The yogurt is blended with fruits (except the vanilla variant), whole grain oats, flax and pumpkin seeds.

At 5.5 ounces, the single-serve containers are a little larger than standard Greek yogurt cups, which are 5.3 ounces. Each serving provides 140 to 150 calories and 1.5 to 2 grams of fat, depending on variety, as well as 1 gram of fiber, and 12 grams of both protein and sugar. To read more, link HERE.

Savory yogurts are starting to become more popular, especially with consumers trying to keep their sweet tooth in check in order to decrease added sugars in the diet.

Since its debut in May 2013, Sohha Yogurt has become known in the New York metro area as the one-of-a-kind savory yogurt made from just three simple ingredients: locally sourced milk, probiotic cultures and sea salt. Developed by a husband and wife team when their daughter was six months old and they were dissatisfied with the too-sweet yogurt options in the marketplace, Sohha Yogurt made its debut in two varieties: Original and Tangy.

Recently the company rolled out Everything Bagel and Za’atar & Sumac. The new flavors combine seeds, pine nuts and spices with extra virgin olive oil, for a unique, flavorful twist. For more information, link HERE.

In Denmark, Arla has introduced Go’Start A38, a unique combination of organic low-fat yogurt with organic strawberries and rye bread sprinkles. The product melds sweet with savory, a first for the category.

There’s lots of innovation going on in Brazil. Vigor Alimentos is rolling out two very unique savory yogurts, which really shows that anything is possible when you start with a great base like cultured milk. These yogurts, with dome lid, come in two flavorful combinations. There’s a black olive-flavored yogurt with plain croutons as the mix-in. There’s also a parsley and chive seasoned yogurt with parmesan croutons. With a 100-gram pack containing about 100 calories and 1 grams of protein, this product concept is definitely designed as a mini meal or snack.

Sometimes you want a sweet treat. The company also offers a more indulgent option. Greek yogurt gets blended with indulgent chocolate flakes. Each 100-gram serving contains about 175 calories and 4.5 grams of protein. It’s permission to indulge.

Beauty-conscious Brazilians will likely find this new Vigor Beauty yogurt appealing. Sweetened with stevia to keep calories and added sugars down, the yogurt is blended with collagen powder, which is said to have skin-rejuvenating properties. The attached dome contains Brazil nuts and chia seeds, both rich in essential fatty acids. A serving provides just under 100 calories, and 5 grams of both fat and protein and 2.4 grams of fiber.
Indulgence is delicious. Germany’s Zott recreates popular “sweet baked goods” flavors in its new line of yogurts. The blended products contain real pieces of baked goods and come in four varieties: Apple Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Cherry Muffin and Mandarin Cheesecake.

In the U.S., Müller Quaker Dairy introduced a line of decadent yogurts. The Dessert-Inspired line features creamy, signature Müller yogurt on top of a layer of fruit or caramel in one compartment, served with goodies on the side. The four varieties are: Dulce De Leche Delight (low-fat vanilla yogurt over a caramel sauce with a side of crunchy hazelnuts and waffle crisps), Peach Cobbler (low-fat yogurt over juicy peach pieces with a side of crunchy pecan clusters), Raspberry Brownie Supreme (low-fat yogurt over tart raspberries with a side of chewy brownie pieces) and Strawberry Cheesecake (low-fat cheesecake-flavored yogurt over strawberries with a side of graham crumble). Each 150-gram container provides 200 to 220 calories, 4 to 6 grams of fat and 7 to 8 grams of protein, depending on variety.  For more information, link HERE.

In select markets throughout Europe, U.K.-based Tesco sells private-label indulgent yogurts that come with chocolate inclusions: chocolate-covered raisins or chocolate-covered cereal balls. These split-pot yogurts provide permission to indulge on chocolate, even at breakfast!

Chobani has an indulgent side as well. This summer, the company introduced new waistline-friendly Greek yogurts designed to satisfy consumers’ sweet tooth. The new offerings come under the brand’s Flip line, which features a side-by-side compartment, one containing yogurt the other containing the sweet mix-ins. Coffee Break Bliss is coffee low-fat yogurt with biscotti pieces and chocolate. Peanut Butter Dream is vanilla low-fat yogurt with honey-roasted peanuts, peanut butter clusters and milk chocolate. Strawberry Summer Crisp is strawberry low-fat yogurt with graham crackers and white chocolate. For more information, link HERE.

Colombian children are having a fun time enjoying new Alpina Bon Yurt Mini. These smaller-portion packs are designed for kids’ appetites…and their taste buds as well. The mix-ins include chocolate candies and chocolate-covered puffed rice.

Watch this video to experience the excitement of the new line. Link HERE.

Life is not always fun and games…but yogurt can be. The YoCrunch brand in the States is all about inclusions…some fun, some games and some better for you.

As summer fades into autumn, football (the U.S. version—that brown oval ball moved around a field by over-sized athletes) enters the scene. Families say goodbye to the beach as they watch this time-intensive sport. YoCrunch makes it fun (for those of us who have no idea what it is going on) with a low-fat yogurt that comes with chocolate-shaped football inclusions.

Earlier in the year, the brand was all about welcoming in summer-time favorites. The pink lemonade offering gives a healthy spin to a favorite summertime flavor. These inclusions are flavored, sweetened pieces that make protein-rich yogurt taste like a beat-the-heat refreshment.

And, now that it’s back-to school time, the brand is rolling out a co-branded dome-lid inclusion product with Kellogg’s granola. Sold in four-packs of 4-ounce cups, the new line comes in Blueberry and Strawberry options. Each individual cup provides 110 calories, 1 gram of both fat and fiber, and 3 grams of protein. 

To all those parents out there…I wish you an easy transition back into school hours, sports schedules, volunteer hours and…yes, the dreaded homework. Yogurt might help. If only it came spiked!

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