Oh, how the times have changed in yogurt land. Just a few years ago, low-fat yogurts were all the rage—so much so that at least one leading yogurt manufacturer discontinued its whole milk product line. Now, demand is surging for fatty, whole milk yogurts. Why have US consumers done an about-face? One theory is that the sudden popularity of Greek yogurt a few years ago, which is richer and more protein-laden than low-fat yogurt, helped change consumers’ palettes and primed them for a fattier yogurt experience. Another explanation may be that the whole milk yogurt trend is part of a larger movement towards natural, minimally processed foods. For example, sales of other related items like whole milk itself and butter are doing well too; whole milk sales—although still a fraction of total sales—rose by about 5% over the last year, while skim milk sales dropped by about 3%. A third hypothesis is that fat is no longer the villain of the nutrition world that it once was. In fact, research seems to indicate that some fats, such as those found in nuts and olive oil, are actually good for you. While it may not be clear whether the fat in yogurt is similarly healthy, one thing is clear—consumers are not waiting for a final verdict on the subject, but are instead indulging in whole milk yogurt like never before. And there does seem to be at least one possible health benefit from eating a fattier yogurt—you may feel fuller and may therefore be less likely to binge on sweets or other unhealthy snacks an hour or two later.
Source: Wall Street Journal