Yoghurt is one of the most promoted products in supermarkets

Yoghurt is one of the most promoted products in supermarkets

Five leading UK yoghurt producers have joined forces to launch a council dedicated to promoting the product and boosting category growth.

The Yogurt Council has been formed by Danone, Emmi, Lactalis Nestlé, Müller and Yoplait, and will be led by registered nutritionist Jo Sweetman.

Based in London, the organisation will work to raise awareness of yoghurt as a "nutritious" food and "an important part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle". It will provide information and advice about yoghurt, which it says should lead to improved growth of the category.

Yoghurt is already one of the most promoted products in UK supermarkets, however, Sweetman suggested to just-food the council is more about providing an information hub for consumers and healthcare professionals, despite yoghurt sales in the UK being "strong".

"It's a robust category and there is a lot of innovation going on in the category, so it's really around bringing the information together, having a collective voice and bringing all the academic research together. We are forming an expert group as well to bring together current research that's going on in the category to understand where the health research is moving to. It's really just about bringing together that information to provide information for consumers, journalists and healthcare professionals."

Sweetman said despite the council being made up of competitors in the UK yoghurt industry, manufacturers believed there was no one place where information on the category could be found or a "collective" voice promoting the benefits of yoghurt.

"There are various bits of information on different websites but [manufacturers] felt that pulling everything together in one place was going to provide a resource for people so they could find this information easily," Sweetman said.

Ultimately, she suggests, the promotion of the category through the Council will boost consumption.

"Healthcare professionals have also told us they've found it very hard, they know that yoghurt is a nutritious food but they find it very hard to find one place where they can provide information for their consumers so we feel that bringing all that together will increase people's knowledge and understanding and therefore drive consumption."

The Yogurt Council website - loveyogurt.org - is designed to act as a central hub of information on the product and will include facts about the heritage of yoghurt and its nutritional profile, as well as relevant academic research and factsheets.

The Council said it plans to host a series of events for consumers and stakeholders as part of its awareness raising campaign.