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In a year of declining volumes and flat value, there is one standout star of the yoghurt & potted desserts category. That’s a polymer chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. Or put simply, protein.

It’s this macronutrient that Arla credits with its 26% rise in value, in a category where meaningful growth has been hard to come by. Volumes are up a similarly impressive 19.9% – well outperforming the category-wide 8.2% decline.

Catriona Mantle, yoghurt category head at owner Arla Foods, credits a strong performance from the Arla Protein lineup, which offers 20g of protein per 200g serving.

Health-conscious Brits are “looking at what they can add to their diet through yoghurt, rather than what’s taken out”, she says.

“The performance of Arla Protein is testament to this, as shoppers seek out products which give them additional benefits in an easy, tasty way.”

The trend for high protein can be seen lower down the ranking, where Lindahls Kvarg and Nomadic have gained significant ground. The protein-heavy brands  are worth an extra £15.8m combined, having shifted the equivalent of 16.8 million more 150g pots.

Health cues beyond protein have also proved beneficial. Take Activia and Actimel, which make respective promises of gut health and immunity support. Their volumes have fallen at significantly slower rates than the overall category – by 1.4% and 2.4%. And increased pack prices have helped glean £19.1m more value for the duo.

Higher average prices have also mitigated volume declines for Petits Filous, Light & Free and Yoplait Wildlife, down by 6.9%, 0.6% and 3.8% respectively.

Price rises haven’t been enough to keep all brands in value growth, though. Take Müller Light. Despite a 13.4% increase in average price – above the overall category’s 8.2% – it’s down £19.3m,  after volumes plunged 27.2%.

Müller Light’s sister brands have also registered value losses. Müller Corner and Cadbury potted desserts are worth a combined £12.9.m less than this time last year. The former has suffered distribution losses, while the latter has been hit by high inflation and reduced promotions, explains NielsenIQ senior analytics executive Matthew Fleming.

To return to growth, owner Müller is banking on Brits eating more at home in 2023 as the cost of living soars. “We have seen the luxury treat segment grow as shoppers seek more affordable pick-me-ups in lieu of other high-cost spending,” says yoghurts & desserts category head Carol Hand.

This will be crucial to future performance, Fleming advises. “If brands are unable to offer value for money, then the whole category will likely continue to struggle.” 

Top Launch 2022

Dairy Free Suckies | The Collective

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The Collective took its popular kids’ range into plant-based in July with the launch of Dairy Free Suckies (rsp: 70p/85g) in Strawberry and Peach & Apricot. Made in the UK, the trendy snacks comprise an oat & coconut base blended with fruit. The range, which now also features a Banana line, contains live cultures, calcium and vitamins D and B12. The launch came in response to there being “so few dairy-free options available for children”, The Collective UK CEO Sarah Smart explained at the time. 

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