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China Yogurt Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Yogurt market, its consumers and the major players who make up that market.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

  • What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth?
  • Who is the consumer and what do they want?
  • Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Market

Market sizing

Our market size data shows you what consumers are spending their money on over time

Forecast

How big is the market today and what is our 5 year forecast? Includes both best & worst case scenarios

Market Segmentation

What are the different segments within the market and how are those individual segments performing?

Consumer

Consumer behaviors

What are consumers looking for, what drives their buying habits and what are their main purchase influencers?

Demographic breakdown

From iGen & Millennials to Baby Boomers & beyond. Who is spending money and what are they spending it on?

Representative sample

We gather our data from real-world consumers, selected to accurately reflect precise global demographics

Players

Company strategy

What are the key players doing, what has been successful for them and what was their marketing spend?

Product innovation

Using data from our Global New Product Database, what products were launched and how well were they perceived?

Opportunities

What happens next, which areas are likely to experience growth and what opportunities exist within the market?

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Loris Li, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although consumers’ consumption frequency is lower than last year, China’s yogurt market will keep growing in both the ambient and chilled sectors. The active innovation in flavour and texture, and the introduction of new product formats will be the main impetus, driving the premiumisation trend. Local brands have started to join the national competition, which is good for the market to stay in a healthy developing status.Loris Li
Associate Director - Food & Drink

Covered in this Report

The Report covers ambient yogurt, chilled yogurt and yogurt-type drinks (lactobacillus drinks such as Yakult are included) in both chilled and ambient format.

Ambient yogurt in China is mainly in a drinkable format, which does not need a spoon to be eaten.

Chilled yogurt in China includes two formats. One is the drinkable format that can be consumed directly or with a straw; the other is eaten with a complimentary spoon, which is called spoonable yogurt.

Excluded

It excludes frozen yogurt, cultured butter milk, quark, acidophilus and sour milk.

What you need to know

China’s yogurt market has already become the largest one in terms of volume in the world. The growth rates of the retail market’s value and volume have been in double digits for the past five years, making yogurt business a very attractive area in China’s food and drink industries.

One unique feature of China’s yogurt market is the popularity of ambient yogurt. Competition has been strong and innovation has been very active as well.

However, chilled yogurt may be a better choice to lead the premiumisation trend happening in the yogurt market.

The growth rate for the category of lactobacillus drinks has seen a slowing trend in 2017, but may go slightly higher in 2018 because of the innovative products with a reduced sugar level. Although ambient lactobacillus drinks have contributed a good performance between 2015 and 2016, this category has some difficulties, such as concern about sugar intake, and demand for live bacteria may be the next. Brands need to make lactobacillus drinks healthier to keep consumers interested.

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What's included

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
        • Excluded
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Premiumisation is ongoing
                • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast for yogurt, by value, 2013-23
                • Figure 2: Best- and worst-case forecast for yogurt, by volume, 2013-23
              • Ambient yogurt will continue its growth while chilled yogurt can better fit into the premiumisation
                • Figure 3: Retail market value of ambient and chilled yogurt with growth rate, China, 2014-18
              • Companies and brands
                • The leading brands have not changed from last year
                  • Local brands are proactively expanding to national markets
                    • Figure 4: Leading companies’ share of retail yogurt market, China, 2016 and 2017
                  • Brands can still rely on flavour innovation
                    • New product formats will be the next business strategy to drive sales
                      • The consumer
                        • Overall usage rates decrease compared with last year
                          • Figure 5: Usage of the main types of yogurt products, April 2018
                          • Figure 6: Usage of the main types of yogurt products, May 2017
                        • Increasing males’ consumption frequency can be the key
                          • Figure 7: Consumption frequency of main types of yogurt and yogurt drinks - more than once a week, by gender and age, April 2018
                        • Drinking is a more popular format than spoonable in chilled yogurt sector
                          • Tradition plays a key role in the popularity of ambient yogurt
                            • Figure 8: Reasons for drinking ambient yogurt or lactobacillus drinks, April 2018
                          • Consumers still need to know more about how to judge the product quality
                            • Figure 9: Label-checking habits, April 2018
                            • Figure 10: Classy Kiss Bifidobacterium C-I Flavored Yogurt, China, 2017
                          • Explore more in texture and combine with exotic flavour to go premium
                            • Don’t ignore the importance of packaging
                              • Figure 11: Premium features of yogurt, April 2018
                            • Greek yogurt is more popular with females than with males
                              • Figure 12: Greek yogurt awareness, April 2018
                              • Figure 13: Greek yogurt awareness, by age and gender, April 2018
                            • Consumers’ understanding of Greek yogurt needs to be refined
                              • Figure 14: Understanding of Greek yogurt, April 2018
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Ambient yogurt can be positioned as a healthy snack
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • New flavour can drive business but texture innovation deserves attention
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Introduce new product formats to enrich the market
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Figure 15: Drinkable and spoonable kefir in other countries’ markets
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • Premiumisation is inevitable
                                                • Ambient and chilled yogurt can be positioned differently
                                                  • Lactobacillus drinks grow slower than before
                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • Yogurt still enjoys high growth rate and goes premium
                                                      • Lactobacillus drinks have slowed down their growth
                                                        • Figure 16: Best- and worst-case forecast for yogurt, by value, 2013-23
                                                        • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case forecast for yogurt, by volume, 2013-23
                                                    • Market Segmentation

                                                      • The value ratio of ambient yogurt to chilled yogurt is three to two
                                                        • Figure 18: Retail market value of ambient and chilled yogurt with growth rate, China, 2014-18
                                                        • Figure 19: Best- and worst-case forecast for ambient yogurt, by value, 2013-23
                                                      • Chilled yogurt can better lead the premiumisation trend
                                                          • Figure 20: Best- and worst-case forecast for chilled yogurt, by value, 2013-23
                                                          • Figure 21: Average protein level of chilled and ambient yogurt (g/100ml), China, 2015-18
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Continuous innovation will keep driving market growth
                                                          • Local brands are expanding to national market
                                                            • Brands are trying to go premium
                                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                              • The big three have an unshakeable leading status
                                                                • Junlebao, Classy Kiss and New Hope are the tier two brands
                                                                  • Yakult leads the lactobacillus drinks category
                                                                  • Market Share

                                                                    • While Mengniu has recovered in 2017, Yili keeps its leading status
                                                                      • Bright is facing competition from other local brands that are expanding
                                                                        • Junlebao and New Hope are active in exploring national market
                                                                          • Figure 22: Leading companies’ share of retail yogurt market, China, 2016 and 2017
                                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                                        • Wei-Chuan: expanding one successful product into one product series
                                                                          • Figure 23: Wei-Chuan drinking yogurt series, China
                                                                        • Mengniu: communicating on the lactobacillus varietal
                                                                          • Figure 24: Mengniu LC-37 lactobacillus drinks and BB-12 fermented milk drink, China
                                                                        • Bright and Classy Kiss: taking up the premium segment
                                                                          • Figure 25: Bright YoGreek spoonable yogurt, China
                                                                          • Figure 26: Classy Kiss double protein spoonable yogurt, China
                                                                        • Driving sales through developing niche flavour
                                                                          • Figure 27: Niche but growing flavour in yogurt new launches, China, July 2015-June 2018
                                                                          • Figure 28: Two new flavour launched by Yili Ambrosial, China
                                                                          • Figure 29: Weigang black forest flavoured yogurt, China
                                                                          • Figure 30: New flavour launched by Yoplait, China
                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                        • Focusing on the nutrition value of yogurt
                                                                          • Figure 31: New launches of yogurt, by selected claim on nutrition, China and Global, July 2015-June 2018
                                                                          • Figure 32: Smoothie products in the US and Japan with claim on vitamin/mineral-fortified
                                                                          • Figure 33: The latest smoothie from Le Pur and Yili, China
                                                                        • Borrow innovation ideas from foodservice
                                                                          • Figure 34: You Chun rice wine brewed yogurt, China
                                                                        • Adding more types of food bits into the yogurt
                                                                          • Figure 35: Spoonable yogurt with non-fruit food bits in other countries’ markets
                                                                          • Figure 36: New Hope Tian Xiang Huo Run Blueberry & Yam Fruit Yogurt, China, 2018
                                                                          • Figure 37: Brown Cow Organics Carrot & Turmeric Organic Live Yoghurt, UK
                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Drive business growth in 25-29s and senior consumers
                                                                          • Consumers are not very sophisticated
                                                                            • Texture innovation can drive premiumisation
                                                                            • Usage of Different Types of Yogurt

                                                                              • Temperature and product format matter a lot
                                                                                • Figure 38: Usage of the main types of yogurt products, April 2018
                                                                                • Figure 39: New launches of ambient yogurt and lactobacillus drinks, by country, July 2015-June 2018
                                                                              • Overall usage goes down compared with 2017
                                                                                • Females aged 40-49 have the lowest usage
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Consumers who have had the following types of products in the last three months, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Consumers who have had the following types of products in the last three months, by gender and age, May 2017
                                                                                • Some cities have market potential to go further
                                                                                  • Figure 42: Consumers who have had the following types of products in the last three months, by city, April 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 43: Usage of the main types of yogurt products, by select cities, April 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 44: Usage of the main types of yogurt products, by select cities, may 2017
                                                                              • Consumption Frequency of Yogurt Products

                                                                                • Fewer consumers than last year consuming more than once a week
                                                                                  • Figure 45: Consumption frequency of main types of yogurt and yogurt drinks, April 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 46: Consumption frequency of main types of yogurt and yogurt drinks, May 2017
                                                                                • Females have higher frequency than males
                                                                                  • Figure 47: Consumption frequency of main types of yogurt and yogurt drinks - more than once a week, by gender and age, April 2018
                                                                              • Reasons for Drinking Ambient Products

                                                                                • Young generation have a more sensitive stomach
                                                                                  • Figure 48: Reasons for drinking ambient yogurt or lactobacillus drinks – it makes my stomach more comfortable, by age and gender, April 2018
                                                                                • Consumers in Midwest believe ambient products are more nutritious
                                                                                  • Figure 49: Reasons for drinking ambient yogurt or lactobacillus drinks – it is more nutritious than chilled yogurt, by region, April 2018
                                                                              • Label Checking Habits

                                                                                • Consumers will be more sophisticated
                                                                                  • Figure 50: Label-checking habits, April 2018
                                                                                • Consumers aged 30-39 are the most sophisticated
                                                                                  • Figure 51: Consumers who check selected label information (include every time and occasionally), by age, April 2018
                                                                              • Premium Features

                                                                                • Consumers become more interested in texture than flavour
                                                                                  • Businesses need to find out high-quality packaging defined by consumers
                                                                                    • Figure 52: Premium features of yogurt, April 2018
                                                                                  • Senior males have some similar viewpoints with young females
                                                                                    • Figure 53: Selected premium features of yogurt, by age and gender, April 2018
                                                                                • Awareness of Greek Yogurt

                                                                                  • Overall females are the main consumers of Greek yogurt
                                                                                    • Figure 54: Greek yogurt awareness, by age and gender, April 2018
                                                                                  • Tier two cities have higher usage than tier one cities
                                                                                    • Figure 55: Greek yogurt awareness, by cities, April 2018
                                                                                • Understanding of Greek Yogurt

                                                                                  • Greek yogurt has a good image
                                                                                    • Figure 56: Understanding of Greek yogurt, April 2018
                                                                                  • Promote more low-fat Greek yogurt
                                                                                    • Figure 57: New launches in Greek yogurt subcategory, by claim, July 2015-June 2018, China
                                                                                  • Higher usage does not bring better understanding
                                                                                    • Figure 58: Consumers who agree with selected statements about Greek yogurt, by selected cities, April 2018
                                                                                • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                                                                  • Lower usage of ambient yogurt but higher of chilled spoonable yogurt
                                                                                    • Figure 59: Usage rates of ambient yogurt, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 60: Usage rates of chilled spoonable yogurt, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                                  • Mintropolitans pay attention to brand and like purchasing online
                                                                                    • Figure 61: Reasons for drinking ambient yogurt or lactobacillus drinks, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                                  • Mintropolitans check information about quality when purchasing yogurt
                                                                                    • Figure 62: Label-checking habits, select items – Mintropolitans, April 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 63: Label-checking habits, select items – Non-Mintropolitans, April 2018
                                                                                  • Mintropolitans do not have a better understanding of Greek yogurt
                                                                                    • Figure 64: Understanding of Greek yogurt – agree, by consumer classification, April 2018
                                                                                • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                    • Figure 65: Value sales of China’s yogurt retail market, 2013-23
                                                                                    • Figure 66: Volume sales of China’s yogurt retail market, 2013-23
                                                                                • Appendix – Market Segmentation

                                                                                    • Figure 67: Value sales of ambient yogurt retail market, 2013-23
                                                                                    • Figure 68: Value sales of chilled yogurt retail market, 2013-23
                                                                                • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                                    • Fan chart forecast