- Say who?
- Who is Harry Belzer, and how did he come to this conclusion?
Mr. Belzer is a senior executive at NPD group, a market research group, who’s been following the food industry for decades:
“We started off with about 17% of all Americans eating yogurt in 2000, and we end the decade with something like 28% consuming yogurt on a regular basis,” he said. “No other category has seen that kind of increase in the absolute number of people using the product.” read more from the REFRESH blog…
Indeed, yogurt is a $4 billion industry with a substantial portion of supermarket dairy refrigerators dedicated to hundreds of varieties.
What you need to know:
Yogurt is healthy. This is largely based on the live & active “friendly” bacteria that help our intestines and keep us “regular”. While all yogurts have these probiotics, some are better at marketing their presence than others.In Europe, people have been enjoying the flavor and health benefits for centuries, but the US was relatively indifferent.
The problem with yogurt reaching mass market in America was its tart flavor. Not sweet enough. Food companies started to add fruit purees, sugar, colorings, and other goodies in order to make the products more appealing to American taste buds.
Oh, and a marketing blitz too.
Key marketing messages: Healthy, portion controlled, convenient, endless flavors, no cleanup.
Today yogurt enjoys a health halo status few foods reach. But most people who consume flavored brands regularly don’t notice the added junk that’s put in many products. Here’s an example of a strawberry yogurt from a leading brand:
Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Strawberries, Modified Corn Starch, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Nonfat Milk, Kosher Gelatin, Citric Acid, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Colored with Carmine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.
Who needs all that sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup? Gelatin? corn starch?
Here’s what strawberry yogurt should contain:
Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Low Fat Milk, Strawberries, optionally – 1 tsp of sugar
What to do at the supermarket:
Buy PLAIN YOGURT. Not white yogurt that is lightly sweetened. Not Vanilla flavor. They’re all full of added sugar. Buy plain yogurt and sweeten it on your terms! Whether you add strawberries, a teaspoon of honey, or mix in some granola, you’ll be better off. Plus, plain yogurt can be purchased in bulk sizes, this providing an additional saving.
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