Feb 15, 2024 - Business

Low-sugar Greek yogurt sales are booming in the Ozempic era

Chobani brand Greek yogurt on display in grocery store

Brands like Chobani have been adding new low-sugar and zero-sugar options. Photo: Kelly Tyko/Axios

Americans' appetite for low-sugar and zero-sugar Greek yogurt is growing in the era of Ozempic, according to data shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: 72% of consumers are trying to limit or avoid sugar entirely, the International Food Information Council's April 2023 survey found.

  • The top three reasons given in the survey of 1,022 adults were to improve health (45%), avoid gaining weight (42%) and to lose weight (40%).

The big picture: The low-sugar yogurt segment grew 17.9% year-over-year and sales increased from $1.88 billion to $2.2 billion, Chobani shared with Axios, citing Nielsen data.

  • The total yogurt category grew 9% in the last year, the data shows.

What's happening: Chobani and competitors including Danone North America, whose brands Oikos, Two Good and Dannon Light + Fit, have been adding new products, including zero and low-sugar drinkable yogurt, as consumers become more conscious of their sugar intake.

  • Chobani Zero Sugar sales have grown 55% year-over-year and contributed 37% to the company's total yogurt growth, the company's chief innovation officer Niel Sandfort told Axios.

What they're saying: Sandfort said the trend toward low-sugar options is expected to continue as consumers opt for foods that are low in sugar and a good source of protein.

  • "Consumers want choice and it is very important that companies continue to evolve their portfolio to deliver against what consumers are looking for," Rafael Acevedo, president and general manager of U.S. yogurt at Danone North America, told Axios.

Zoom in: Eating a high-protein diet is important to maintain muscle for people taking appetite-suppressing injectable treatments and others looking to lose weight, research shows.

  • U.S. demand for the obesity drugs, known as GLP-1 agonists, exceeded supply in 2023, and some analysts predict the market could surpass $150 billion a year within a decade, Axios' Adriel Bettelheim and Tina Reed report.

Yes, but: Usage of the still-pricey drugs isn't widespread enough to make a difference yet in the food economy, experts say, but companies are preparing.

  • "It is still too early to tell exactly what the implications of weight-loss drugs can be," Acevedo said. "We expect the low sugar segment to continue to experience accelerated growth."

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