May 27, 2014

More Greek Yogurt than Ever this Shavuos May be at the Expense of Other Dairy

NEW YORK — Shavuos (the harvest festival– eve of June 3-5) is most definitely cheesecake season and if you thought you’ve seen every recipe possible, think again. All you had to do was open one of the magazines like Ami, Mishpacha, and Binah to find new and colorful ways to make cheesecakes. But the big story this Shavuos continues to be Greek Yogurt, which according to some in the industry continues to grow at a rate of 10% a month. Of course, Greek Yogurt has been around for some time, witness the highly successful Chobani. But this is about Cholov Yisrael Greek Yogurt, which has in a short time become a food of choice for tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews. 

Greek Yogurt market leader Norman’s touts its exclusive Cholov Yisrael plant in Rutherford NJ while Mehadrin, a long time leader in Cholov Yisrael products, seeks to retain its strong market share in many dairy products. Greek Yogurt has become so popular because of its high protein and in some cases like the Norman’s Light 100 calories, it has also become a favorite with the weight conscious. Some retailers claim that Greek Yogurt has actually replaced some other choices for the health and weight conscious. They say that it has certainly cut into cottage cheese sales. 

While the magazines featured many recipes for the almost obligatory dairy meal on Shavuos including fish, pasta, and pastries, several like Ami offered recipes using the Norman’s Greek Yogurt. For both Norman’s and Mehadrin the increased popularity of Greek Yogurt is an enormous opportunity, albeit for companies like J&J, Mehadrin and other producers of other dairy products like cottage cheese, they may very well have to put some marketing focus on the more traditional products.