The international market for dairy snacks, such as cheese strings and yogurt tubes, grew by 7% in 2009 and is heading for a 6% rise this year. The first major study on this sector, by Zenith International, estimates total volume at 217,000 tonnes in 2010 across 26 countries in North America, Latin America, West Europe, East Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Currently, the majority of dairy snack products are cheese-based and targeted at children. In some countries, however, manufacturers are increasingly looking at innovations for adults. Although many dairy snacks are designed to be eaten on the move, some recent launches have been designed for at-home snacking, reflecting continuing changes in consumer eating habits.
Although dairy snacks are undeveloped as a snack segment, compared to more traditional snacking foods such as crisps and bars, it is clear that there is considerable long term potential for the market and Zenith expects the market to reach over 260,000 tonnes by 2014.