Source: Unsplash

By Pola Lem

Publishing: 9 March 2024

Advertising deadline: 23 February 2024

Submissions deadline: 16 February 2024

In the face of falling volumes across the dairy drinks category, drinkable yogurts are driving volume growth. In 2023, they gained 15.4% in volume  – even as all other dairy drinks, including flavoured milks, dairy alternatives and functional drinks, all saw decline. Even more remarkably, shoppers opted for drinkable yogurts in spite of them being the most expensive item per litre. So why are Brits tossing back kefirs? After years of growth among the health-conscious crowd, are these products finally making it into the mainstream? And with shoppers continuing to seek cheaper alternatives as the cost of living crisis continues, how are drinkable yogurt brands convincing people to buy their more expensive products?

Brands vs own label: Brands, which make up the bulk of the category, are also driving value growth, with the category up by a total 9.8% last year despite own label losses. So, what’s behind brands’ success? Could consumers be treating themselves in stores to avoid pricier café options? Are already HFSS-compliant brands benefiting from rules that came into force in October 2022, clearing out coveted shelf space? Are we due a shakeup?

Inflation: How much are high commodity prices affecting dairy drink prices? What’s going on in flavoured drinks? With popular coffee beverages also dealing with the cost of beans, do they face a harder uphill climb? And just how much can they bet on consumers’ preference for higher value products? Will coffee brands pass on further price raises to consumers, or opt to keep prices level?

HFSS: A year since HFSS legislation was introduced, how are brands benefitting? Were most dairy drinks already compliant – has this helped them gobble up shelf space? What portion of dairy drinks are in the chilled section?

Innovation: With the immediate focus on keeping costs down for consumers, what are brands doing to innovate in the flavoured milks category? Are there any innovations? And could innovative brands come out ahead when inflation falls again? We will profile four new products or ranges, ideally ones that have not appeared in The Grocer before. We need launch date, rsp, and a hi-res picture of each.