The Yogurt Business Niche: A Full Guide on the Yogurt Market

February 19, 2024
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The health benefits of yogurt consumption have made it one of the high-demand products in grocery stores. Being rich in protein and minerals in addition to its probiotic properties makes yogurt a great choice for various dishes. As the popularity of this product grows, so do the opportunities in the yogurt business niche. In this full guide, you can find out more about the various types of yogurt made from dairy and plant-based milk. We’ll also share details about how dairy distributors and dairy farming companies can benefit from the increased popularity of this product.

Wholesale Yogurt

Although the majority of yogurt sales are customers buying the product from retail stores, there is also a large B2B trade of the product. Due to the simplicity of the yogurt-making process, most manufacturers of beverages or other related products such as frozen yogurt prefer to make it on their own. However, some companies prefer to buy wholesale yogurt. Here are some of the businesses that purchase large quantities of yogurt:

  1. Grocery stores, supermarkets, and other retailers. These businesses need a wide range of dairy products. That’s why they are likely to find suppliers who offer a variety of products.
  2. Food service providers. Restaurants, cafes, and other food service establishments might purchase in bulk from yogurt businesses or distributors. They use yogurt as an ingredient in desserts, breakfast food, and other dishes.
  3. Schools and healthcare institutions. As yogurt is rich in calcium and has strong probiotic properties, it’s an important food for adolescents, elderly people with low bone density, and patients who need to consume light food.
  4. Hotels and hospitality groups. Being a popular option for breakfast bowls, yogurt is purchased by hotels and other hospitality businesses.
  5. Specialty stores. Retailers focused on health foods or gourmet products are also likely to partner with wholesale yogurt businesses. These stores are likely to purchase products that are less common such as buffalo yogurt.

How Businesses Benefit from Yogurt

One of the reasons why more companies should integrate yogurt into their businesses is that it’s a natural probiotic. Instead of taking probiotic pills, people can eat Greek yogurt or another variety with live bacterial cultures to improve their digestive health. That means yogurt can be used as part of a company’s marketing strategy.

Yogurt can be more than just a food. It’s used in the skincare industry as well. Yogurt face masks are among the most popular homemade options. The exfoliating and moisturizing properties of the product make it ideal for facemasks. Yogurt is also an ingredient in various cosmetic products.

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Recipes with Yogurt

It is no surprise that yogurt is a popular ingredient in the restaurant industry. It is versatile and can be used for a wide range of dishes. Although it’s most commonly used for breakfast bowls and desserts, food service establishments can also make marinades, dips, and sauces with yogurt. The acidity of yogurt can also be used to balance alkaline ingredients.

Beverage Recipes with Yogurt

There are various drinks that can be made of yogurt. Yogurt businesses often produce ready-to-drink beverages. Here are the most popular ones.

  • Smoothies. Combining fruits, yogurt, and other ingredients can result in a thick and delicious smoothie. Although yogurt is rich in protein, people might drink a yogurt smoothie mixed with some of the popular types of protein powder.
  • Drinkable yogurt. Strawberry, blueberry, and vanilla yogurt beverages are among the most popular on the market.
  • Kefir. This fermented milk beverage is often associated with yogurt and dairy products.
  • Lassi. This beverage is popular in the Indian subcontinent. Lassi is made by stirring yogurt and adding additional sweet or savory flavors like fruits or herbs.

Food Recipes with Yogurt

  1. Dessert recipes. Yogurt parfait and frozen yogurt are the most popular desserts. Yogurt can be combined with various fruits or other ingredients. Yogurt cheesecake and frozen yogurt bark are also great dessert options.
  2. Breakfast food. A nutritious yogurt bowl with fruits and different types of grains is a common breakfast option. In order to make it more dense and rich in protein, many prefer to use Greek yogurt instead of regular one. Make sure not to include too many sweet ingredients as that could lead to a sugar rush and crash.
  3. Other recipes with yogurt. The product can be used for salads like the traditional Greek tzatziki or dips like Greek yogurt and herbs dip. Pasta also combines well with yogurt. There are multiple creamy pasta recipes online. Yogurt can also be used to make creamy salad dressings.
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Yogurt Types and Varieties

Business owners need to constantly adapt to the market demands for different products. That’s why there are dozens of different yogurt varieties available. Let’s examine some of the common ones.

  1. Plain yogurt. This is the regular variety of the product. It comes in different sizes and different fat content. Plain yogurt has a tart flavor and is white in color.
  2. Greek yogurt. It’s very similar to regular yogurt. The only difference is that Greek yogurt is thicker and more nutritious. This makes it a preferred option for many businesses and households. 
  3. Flavored yogurt. There are both drinkable and eatable flavored yogurt types. Vanilla and strawberry are the most common flavors.
  4. Vegan yogurt. Dairy-free products have become very popular in recent years. Yogurt made of vegan milk has also grown in popularity. These products usually have a sweeter taste compared to plain or Greek yogurt. Popular vegan yogurt options include coconut, cashew, and soy yogurt.

The Yogurt Market

In the past, yogurt manufacturing was considered to be a niche market. However, the increased popularity of the product has made the yogurt business industry much larger in size. Currently, the market is pretty consolidated. Large brands such as Danone and Chobani dominate the market.

In addition to the US, other countries also consume a lot of yogurt. France is among the leaders in yogurt consumption. Ireland and Canada also show high numbers of yogurt consumed per capita. Nominal consumption is highest in China and India.

The Future of Yogurt Business

As with any other niche, the yogurt market is driven by demand. Let’s shed some light on the trends in the field that are likely to shape the yogurt business industry in the near future.

  1. Plant-based yogurt options. Constant innovations in the field of dairy-free products have led to more vegan yogurt varieties. That’s one of the main drivers of growth in the niche.
  2. Popularity of healthy and organic food. More consumers aim to eat healthier products and yogurt businesses can benefit from this trend.
  3. Health benefits of yogurt. The probiotic properties of yogurt make it an excellent option for people with fast and stressful lifestyles.
  4. Experimentation and innovation. Yogurt can be used for both sweet and savory recipes. That makes it a good ingredient to experiment with. Food service establishments can combine the health benefits of yogurt with its versatility as an ingredient.

Yogurt Business Ideas

If you want to benefit from the increasing yogurt market, there are not a lot of businesses to start. Here are some options.

  1. Frozen yogurt shop. They can be found in malls or pedestrian zones. Frozen yogurt businesses can also sell other products like ice cream. 
  2. Making and selling yogurt. Farms or households that have livestock can make their own yogurt and sell it at farmers’ markets.
  3. Dairy foods store. Small retail stores that specialize in dairy products are the right place to find a wide variety of yogurt products. These dairy and yogurt businesses are usually brick-and-mortar stores and rarely have an eCommerce store.

Yogurt Alternatives

The demand for dairy-free and vegan yogurt has led to the development of various yogurt alternatives. These products are used by the food and beverage industry as more and more consumers search for plant-based alternatives to classical dairy goods. Let’s examine the popular yogurt alternatives.

  • Coconut yogurt. The sweet coconut taste and creamy texture are the reasons why coconut yogurt is a great option for vegan desserts or bowls with whole-grain breakfast ingredients. It’s also used to create sauces or savory recipes from Southeast Asian cuisine.
  • Cashew yogurt. Cashews have become a very popular product for non-dairy products in the last decade. Cashew yogurt, milk, and cheese are among the favorite vegan alternatives to dairy products.
  • Almond yogurt. The nutty flavor and thick consistency of this yogurt make it great for desserts and smoothies.
  • Soy yogurt. Soy has been used as an alternative to dairy products for some time. Soy milk can also be used to create yogurt. This product is sometimes referred to as soygurt.

The sweeter taste of these dairy-free yogurt alternatives makes them more suitable for certain recipes. However, since they don’t contain good bacterial cultures, plant-based yogurt options have no probiotic properties. 

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Yogurt Health Benefits

Yogurt has been known for millennia. Its health benefits have made it a popular food in ancient times and it still is common today. Let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits of yogurt.

  1. Nutritious and rich in protein. Yogurt contains important nutrients like calcium and potassium. It’s also rich in proteins.
  2. Good effect when applied on the skin. Yogurt is a popular ingredient for homemade face masks. It moisturizes the skin and can help exfoliate dead skin cells.
  3. Assist people with lactose intolerance. Although yogurt is a dairy product, some people with lactose intolerance can find positive effects from its consumption. The bacterial cultures in yogurt turn lactose into lactic acid. That way, people with intolerance can introduce small amounts of lactose to their body and the bacterial cultures that turn it into acid.
  4. Probiotic properties. The stressful lifestyle and food that is not particularly nutritious can lead to digestive problems and poor gut health. Yogurt can significantly help with that. The good bacteria in it help regulate the gut flora and improve digestion.
  5. Anti-inflammatory properties. Yogurt consumption helps reduce chronic inflammation.

Yogurt Negative Effects

It’s important to keep in mind that not all yogurt products on the market are good for your health. Products with a lot of additives like sweetened yogurt beverages may contain high amounts of sugar. This can lead to weight gain and negative effects on your body. Furthermore, if you have problems processing lactose, take into consideration the fact that yogurt is not completely lactose-free. Although the bacteria in yogurt turn lactose into lactic acid, there are still traces of this disaccharide sugar in yogurt products.

Another negative effect associated with yogurt is related to its acidity. It can lead to heartburn for people who often experience acid reflux.

Frozen Yogurt Business Opportunities

Along with ice cream, frozen yogurt is one of the most popular desserts in the summer months. It combines the tart flavor of yogurt with the sweetness provided by different toppings. If you’re looking for yogurt business ideas, starting a frozen yogurt business is one of the best options. That’s because this business can be automated to have little to no labor costs. The two most popular varieties of frozen yogurt business are a shop and a mobile truck. Here are the main pros and cons of these ideas.

  • Reasons to open a frozen yogurt shop. Such a business can be very successful in a mall or another area with a lot of pedestrian traffic. You will often see frozen yogurt shops near tourist attractions or beaches as well. They can be automated and run without employees. The only labor costs are related to restocking ingredients and maintenance of the equipment.
  • Reasons to invest in a frozen yogurt mobile truck. Mobility is the main benefit of these businesses. They can operate at different locations based on events or demand. For example, you can move your truck to different concert locations or other areas that gather a lot of people. One major thing to keep in mind is that different counties and states have different regulations.

Opening a Business in 3 Steps

  1. Research and develop a strategy. The first step in starting a frozen yogurt business is researching the market. Evaluate whether a truck or a shop will be the right option for your endeavor. The research phase should also include crafting a business plan, deciding on different capital-acquiring methods, researching the competition, and developing a price and marketing strategy.
  2. Partner with distributors and other businesses. You need reliable wholesale suppliers of the different ingredients. In addition, you can partner with other businesses and offer bundles or special deals. 
  3. Focus on marketing and constantly adapt to demand. The marketing strategy should be done according to the type of business. For example, if you have a frozen yogurt business that’s mobile, make sure your branding stands out from other competitors. On the other hand, frozen yogurt shops can build a brand based on their target audience.
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