Over the past decade frozen yogurt has become nearly as popular as ice cream. In terms of desert sales, yogurt has seen an increase of 74 percent in sales whereas ice cream has only increased by 3.9 percent. At the same time, ice cream has traditionally been the leading seller and still represents nearly 55 percent of sales in the frozen treat market. Industry experts note yogurt has benefited from multiple factors. It has seen a general increase in overall popularity with a significant increase in popularity as a healthy snack alternative to ice cream.
Frozen yogurt initially gained traction as the ideal cold sweet for people suffering from lactose intolerance. While buyers can purchase lactose free cream it has not proven to be a popular choice. Yogurt utilizes broken down lactose content and active cultures which makes it easier to digest. When purchasing yogurt is important to ensure it has active or live cultures because it is not an ingredient included in every version of yogurt.
Another reason ice cream faces increased competition yogurt mix is the perception that it is significantly less healthy. There are a number of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and protein, in both cream and yogurt. The big difference is cream is made from milk fat, milk solids, and sweeteners. To be considered cream, it must have a composition including at least 10% milk fat, although premium creams often boast a 16%-18% milk fat. On the other hand, yogurt has a much smaller percentage of milk fat. Plus, most yogurts do not include any sugar outside of the milk sugars (lactose).
One segment of the frozen treats industry where yogurt is particularly gaining acceptance is the stand-alone stores. Ice cream shops or malt shops have been around for decades but yogurt shops have been around for little more than a decade. The signification growth in yogurt shops has taken place in the last five years. A driving force behind this is the toppings. Frozen yogurt shops first relied on fruits and other healthy toppings which helped promote it as the healthy alternative. While the toppings are now similar for both cream and yogurt the public perception is yogurt is still healthier.
If there is one area in which ice cream dominates it is the number of available flavors. While frozen yogurt is catching up, it is still highly reliant on toppings to add flavor rather than the flavor of the yogurt itself.