Functional drinks driving yoghurt boom

Sales of yoghurt in the UK are set to increase by 40% over the next five years and smash the £2bn barrier by 2011 with surging functional yoghurt drinks driving sales.
Market analyst Mintel says that the sector has already grown by a whopping 432% since 2001, and that 60% of consumers cite health as the chief reason behind buying the product.
In a new report entitled Yoghurts – UK, Mintel also identified the rising popularity of yoghurt drinks, particularly the functional type, coming at the expense of the traditional yoghurt pot.
David Bird, senior market analyst at Mintel said,“Yoghurt drinks are ideal for
eating on the go and tap into the snacking zeitgeist of modern Britain in a way that yoghurt pots struggle to do. However, their real success lies in the fact that many are functional drinks and are
designed to have a specific benefit beyond their nutritional value.
Yoghurt drinks account for about 11 per cent of shelf space, says Danone, but are behind about 60% of growth for the entire functional food category.
The movers and shakers in the functional drink sector such as McNeil (Benecol) Yakult, Danone (Actimel) and Müller (Vitality) have delivered very strong growth across the period 2001-05.

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