Ambient drinking yogurt, an entirely new category of dairy drinks, has taken China by storm since its launch in 2010. The market for this exciting product innovation has grown at an astounding rate, accounting for 13% of the country’s total yogurt category in 2014 and is expected to achieve sales of almost €5 billion by the end of 2017. This illustrates the scale of opportunity the product presents globally, according to Tetra Pak (tetrapak.com)
The success of ambient drinking yogurt in China has been driven by consumer demand for convenience, taste and nutritional benefit, trends that are reflected in many other countries. Studies show that traditional meals are under pressure; consumers across the world are increasingly opting for snacks and treats that fit their busy and complex lifestyles. With the contemporary look and convenience of Tetra Prisma® Aseptic packages, ambient drinking yogurt suits this modern way of life. It offers similar nutritional value as fermented chilled yogurt, delivers a delicious taste and can be consumed easily on the go as it does not need to be refrigerated.
As a result, consumers have been willing to pay more for the product. Other companies have quickly recognized the potential of the new category among Chinese consumers. Since the launch of Mosili’an, which Tetra Pak developed with its customer Bright Dairy in 2010, 13 dairy producers have entered the thriving Chinese sector with Tetra Pak processing lines.
Dan Björklund, manager of Centre of Expertise Dairy at Tetra Pak says; “We have been delighted to work with our customers to develop a new dairy category in China. Ambient drinking yogurt is flourishing because it appeals to the lifestyle of the modern day consumer, not just in China but globally. Dairy brands have recognised this and we are getting requests for the product from small local producers, as well as international companies, from all around the world.”
To make ambient drinking yoghurt suitable for on-the-go consumption and snacking, the product formulation has to be smooth and stable throughout its shelf life, while also preserving the fresh taste of yogurt. This requires a distinct product formulation and processing procedure. It is the same as chilled yogurt in the initial stages, but needs heat treatment and aseptic filling after fermentation to ensure the viscosity and shelf-life is maintained for several months. Tetra Pak’s extensive experience in ambient drinking yogurt means it has developed a unique set of solutions and know-how in production to support customers.