The rapid rise of Greek-style yogurt is squeezing other products off the shelf, reports Sarah Nassauer in The Wall Street Journal (9/4/13). "It certainly has crowded out everything I like to eat," says Kimberly Davis, who prefers regular yogurt. "I like to pick out some random, oddball flavor to try, maybe as a dessert, and now there is a lot less of that," she says. So, now she just "eats plain or vanilla yogurt some mornings, but chooses other things for dessert." Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farms, says Kimberly isn’t the only shopper desperately seeking regular yogurt.
"In our minds, about half the consumers aren’t wild about Greek," says Gary. Charlotte Garden, a consumer, compares the consistency of Greek yogurt to "wet cement." But such opinions are not reflected in the product mix: "Today yogurt takes up about 2.2 million linear feet of grocery store shelf space in the US, up from about 1.9 million two years ago. During that time, space allotted to Greek yogurt at US grocery stores increased to about 631,000 linear feet, up from about 163,000 in 2011, reducing the space for non-Greek products by 12%, according to IRI data from Stonyfield."
Kids are among the most notably disenfranchised, according to Harry Balzer of NPD Group, because "they’re typically big yogurt fans … Indeed, about 40% of the Greek yogurt products marketed specifically for children – those in smaller portions or adorned with colorful graphics – are purchased by households that don’t have kids." Colleen Pence confirms that her kids don’t like Greek yogurt because "it’s a little more pungent than they’re used to." All told, "about 8% of households buy exclusively Greek. The vast majority are buying traditional or some mix of Greek and non-Greek yogurt."