In the past five years, U.S. sales of Greek-style yogurt — which is strained of excess water to become thick, flavorful and high in protein — have risen from $60 million a year to a staggering $1.5 billion a year, according to a fantastic report by NPR. That means that in just half a decade, one of the worst economic periods of the 20th century, sales of Greek yogurt grew 2500%.
Growth in the sector has not gone unnoticed. In March, Business Insider picked up a report by UBS that indicated that sales were doubling every year, calling it “one of the hottest-growing food categories of all time.” The New York Times did a piece in February profiling market leader Chobani’s advertising efforts. And Nielsen commented on the trend as early as October.
The reports all agree on one driver of the rapid adoption: health. Consumers have consistently cited Greek yogurt’s low-fat, high-protein nutritional profile as a major reason for splurging on the style, which often costs twice as much as its competitors. The most enthusiastic customers have generally been affluent women — just the type of person who would love to be told by John Stamos that Greek yogurt is “the best in the world.”