Yogurt sales soar in Japan

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The Japanese yogurt market is growing like gangbusters, with sales up more than 10 percent in 2012 to just under $3.4 billion. The jump was aided by media reports early in the year thatlinked the probiotics in yogurt to enhanced immunity to influenza, according to officials in the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s Japanese office. Meiji, which holds a 40 percent share of the yogurt category in Japan, led the gains, but growth was widespread; Morinaga Milk Industry, Megmilk Snow Brand and Danone Japan all grew by double digits. Although the major manufacturers expect gains again this year, Meiji predicted more modest market growth in the 2-4 percent range with sales clearing $3.5 billion.

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