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How do South African consumers engage with fresh dairy yoghurt? What drives their consumption and purchase? What are the untapped gaps for brands on this market? What sensory and especially flavour innovations would help dairy producers create a competitive edge? 

MANE recently conducted a qualitative research in South Africa to gain insight into the consumer yoghurt world. The 48 individual ethnographies and the 6 focus groups with tasting sessions enabled MANE to deep dive into consumers’ interactions with dairy snacks and yoghurt and uncover their needs and expectations, with a focus on sensory and flavour innovation.

MANE’s survey underlines that yoghurt is commonly perceived as a tasty and guilt-free food type with naturally healthy and nutritional credentials. It stretched across polar benefits, bearing relaxation, balance, enjoyment, but also fun, playfulness and sophistication. Yoghurt is viewed as extremely versatile and is used in meals, cooking, and baking. Moments of yoghurt engagement are very varied and have strong emotional undertones. Different flavours and textures are expected according to those moments.

MANE’s research also reveals that yoghurt has become a somewhat ‘commoditised’ and cluttered competitive category, with a haze of trusted brands and a high incidence of retailers offering price deals. Breakthrough is tough. In this context, sensory features and especially taste and flavours can play a major role in creating differentiation, especially by supporting the huge emotional benefits linked to the various moments of consumption. For instance, consumers eating yoghurt alone late at night often look for a companion to their stolen moment of indulgence. In this context, yoghurt is expected to be comforting and to satisfy consumers’ cravings. Such benefits can be brought by a thick and creamy texture and a sweet and mild taste.

These insights have been leveraged in brainstorming sessions with MANE marketing and R&D experts to develop concepts on several innovation areas based on relevant unmet needs.

If this survey sparks your interest, do not hesitate to get in touch with your MANE business contact or with Janet Deel-Smith, VP Business Development and Marketing – MANE Flavour Sub-Saharan Africa.