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Yogurt consumption doubles over past decade: Greek yogurt leads the way

Yogurt consumption is on the rise, and Greek yogurt is leading the pack. (Thinkstock)It turns out that our neighbours south of the boarder are not the only ones experiencing a surge in the popularity of yogurt.

Yogurt consumption has been increasing in Canada by about 3.3 per cent per year, according to Dairy Farmers of Canada economist Richard Sanchez.

“This is happening for the same reasons it’s happening in the United States,” says Sanchez. “People see it as a healthy product, and it’s easier to consume and more portable than milk.”

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A new American consumer report by research company NDP Group analyzed yogurt consumption trends in the U.S., and found that over the past decade, per capita yogurt consumption has more than doubled in that country.

Sanchez points out that the same is true of Canada. We now eat about twice a much yogurt as we did a decade ago.

One of the main things driving the growth in the U.S. is the younger generation. Apparently 18 to 34-year-olds eat more yogurt than their predecessors because unlike their parents, they've been eating it their whole lives.

Yet Canadians are way ahead of our neighbours to the south when it comes to overall yogurt consumption: we eat three times the amount per capita, reports the Toronto Star.

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“Canadians started eating yogurt before Americans,” says Therese Beaulieu, a spokesperson for the Dairy Farmers of Canada. “What we're mostly seeing is a switch to Greek yogurt in Canada.”

In 2001, Greek yogurt made up only about 1.5 per cent of total yogurt purchases. Today that number is closer to 9.8 per cent.

The product is a hit because it is high in protein, has natural ingredients and is creamier than regular yogurt — so much so that it can even substitute for sour cream.

Greek yogurt has leaped in popularity in the United States as well. According to a special report on Greek yogurt in the Toronto Star, Canada has jumped on the coattails of a huge upswing in Greek yogurt sales in the U.S.

Long story short, it's a good time to be be a North American yogurt producer, and with yummy Greek yogurt taking over, it's a good time to be a yogurt consumer. 

Watch the video below about the difference between Greek vs. regular yogurt. 

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