SUPERMARKET sales of yoghurt and dairy snacks continue to rise following a growing consumer taste for “traditional style” yoghurts.

As consumers shy away from sweet yoghurt, the sales of the traditional yoghurt has recorded double digit growth for the past two years, according to Dairy Australia.

The Situation and Outlook report, released today, shows there is still growth for this sector but at 6.6 per cent it has become more moderate in the past year. Traditional yoghurt sales were about 86,000 tonnes worth $615 million, with the total yoghurt sector recording a 2.2 per cent rise to 170,000 tonnes worth $1.4 billion (last year).

Consumer focus is shifting away from the sweet to high protein yoghurt, says University of Melbourne associate professor for the school of Agriculture and Food Said Ajlouni.

He said Australia’s overall growth in yoghurt sales was fuelled by the natural yoghurt category, as part of a more health conscious withdrawal from sugary products.

“People are becoming more selective and conscious of the type of food they consume,” Dr Ajlouni said.

He said the movement was led by consumer awareness of the nutritional value in traditional-style, natural yoghurt.

“Natural yoghurt improves the human digestion in general,” Dr Ajlouni said.

It is very rich in lactic acid bacteria; good bacterial growth helps our digestive system to work better and yield more nutrients.”

Dr Ajlouni said the industry was looking towards new alternatives.

He predicted yoghurt fortified with nutritional supplements would begin to infiltrate the category in future.

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