Plain and natural yoghurt surging in popularity in Australia, Roy Morgan findings

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th January 2016

Australians have plain tastes according to the latest report from Roy Morgan Research which shows that yoghurt eaters are dropping flavoured options in favour of plain or natural alternatives.


Over the last few years, flavoured/fruit yoghurt has been gradually losing popularity, as an increasing number of Australians turn to natural/plain yoghurt instead. In the 12 months to September 2015, 48% of Australians 14+ reported eating flavoured/fruit yoghurt in an average four weeks, down from 52% back in September 2011. Over the same period, the proportion eating natural/plain yoghurt surged from 36% to 43%, closing the gap on its historically more popular flavoured equivalent.


Natural yoghurt’s newfound popularity appears to be an equal-opportunity phenomenon, with ever-increasing numbers of men and women enjoying it. Between October 2010 and September 2015, the proportion of Australian men who ate natural yoghurt in an average four weeks grew from 30% to 36%, while the proportion of women eating it rose from 41% to 49%.

Flavoured vs plain yoghurt: 2011 vs 2015


Chart 1








Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2010 – September 2011 (n=18,483) and October 2014- 2015 (n=15,668). Base:Australians 14+


While natural/plain yoghurt consumption grew among all age groups except young men aged under-25, the most dramatic increases occurred among men and women aged between 25 and 34 years, followed closely by the 65+ age bracket.


The frequency with which Australians eat natural/plain yoghurt has also risen over the last few years. Some 23% of natural-yoghurt eaters consume it on a daily basis (up from 17% in 2011) – almost the same proportion as fruit/flavoured yoghurt eaters who eat theirs every day (25%). Weekly consumption has grown from 29% to 30% over the same timeframe, just short of flavoured yoghurt (34%)


“While a greater proportion of Australians still eat fruit/flavoured yoghurt than natural, the gap is closing,” said CEO of Roy Morgan Research, Michele Levine.


“This increased tendency towards natural/plain yoghurt may well be the result of the public becoming more aware of the hidden sugars in so many flavoured yoghurts, or part of a broader move towards more ‘natural’ foods. It is certainly noteworthy that Aussies who eat natural yoghurt every day are nearly 50% more likely than the average Australian to agree that ‘I try to buy organic food whenever I can’,” she said.


“It is also interesting to see that daily consumers of natural yoghurt are twice as likely as the average Australian to eat all, or almost all, vegetarian food, suggesting that there is a conscious thought process behind their decision. When we consider the elevated proportion of daily natural-yoghurt eaters who fall into Roy Morgan’s more gourmet-inclined Food Segments such as Entertainers, Trendsetters and House Proud, it becomes even more apparent that they have specific ideas about the kind of food they’re willing to eat,” Levine continued.


“It is essential for dairy brands with a flavoured yoghurt range to stay abreast of shifting attitudes and behaviour among Australian consumers, and adjust their marketing communications and brand image accordingly,” Levine concluded.