Five pots of vegetable yogurt

Veggie yogurts make a comeback

Savoury yogurt is still a niche product, but with more calls for healthier on-the-go food, could Scottish food manufacturers turn it into a shopping basket regular?

After a tough start, food manufacturers are having another go at finding a place for veggie yogurts. Can Scottish food companies turn these little pots of yogurt vegetable goodness, into little pots of gold?

The curious Scottish consumer

As customers, we’re experimenting more and more with flavours and textures. And we’re relying on producers to bring tasty products to our shopping baskets.

Enter the magnificent vegetable, God’s own natural flavour generator. Kale and spinach have already got smoothies and juices in a spin. What effect can the vegetable patch have on the plain old yogurt?

The American veggie yogurt market

In the US, vegetable yogurts have been in-store for around five years. Blue Hill was the first savoury vegetable yogurt brand, brought to market following in-house success at the company's restaurants. They brought the powerful flavours of beetroot, butternut squash, carrot, sweet potato and parsnip to their yogurts.

Blue Hill was quickly followed by US yogurt brand, Chobani. They spiced up their mass market fruit yogurts with a kick of, habanero, sriracha and jalapeno hotness. Manufacturers have since gone on to pair yogurt with lemon and zucchini, pineapple, spinach and kiwi, carrot, ginger and pistachio, and blueberry and cucumber.

The UK veggie yogurt market

Waitrose launched their vegetable Greek yogurts in 2017. Their sweet and savoury flavour combinations included: carrot and ginger, pineapple, and butternut squash and turmeric. However, they stopped selling the range earlier this year.

This created a veggie yogurt pot vacuum, and a Cambridgeshire start-up has stepped in to have a go at the market. Veggie Plot has developed a range of vegetable yogurts and secured its first supermarket listing with Ocado this year.

Their Greek-style yogurts are made from British milk with vegetable puree and come in five flavours: beetroot, cucumber and dill, avocado, Mediterranean roast veg and red pepper. Depending on how the range does commercially, the company is considering a vegan yogurt for the dairy-free market.

Veggie Plot CEO, Anna Spencer, is convinced, it’s only a matter of time before veggie yogurts become a pantry staple. And there is evidence that she is on to something.

Growth opportunities

Currently, the vegetable yogurt category is very niche in the yogurt aisle. It's a new innovative concept that needs time to grow, which is the same for all really innovative products.

Market researchers and innovation experts believe savoury yogurts have huge potential, but have to be marketed properly. It’s worth having a look at how kale went from a vegetable that no-one paid much attention, to a vegetable that has almost taken on a regal position in the vegetable world. Thanks to the marketing genius of a few people.

If you want to understand more about the savoury yogurt trend, or other food and drink trends, get in touch. We're here to help Scottish companies innovate around product, processes and people. We support businesses get their ideas to market with free innovation support. If you’re working on something new or different, that will add value to your business, we can help.

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