CHICAGO — Yogurt manufacturers are extending the product’s reach from retail into the food service category. Total dollar volume of yogurt shipped through broad-line food service distributors to food service outlets grew 10% and units shipped by 7% in the year ended Sept. 30, 2013, compared to a year ago, according to The NPD Group’s SupplyTrack service.

“Yogurt is a good example of how combining the knowledge of a category’s market dynamics and performance metrics with consumer consumption behavior can be the edge food service distributors, manufacturers, and operators need to gain share,” said Annie Roberts, a vice-president with NPD.

Dollar sales of yogurt shipped to colleges and universities increased more than 11%, according to NPD.  In addition to its growth at schools and universities, total dollars of yogurt shipped to hospitals and health care outlets, restaurants, government, recreation, and retail food service also increased by double-digits in the year ended Sept. 30 compared to year ago.

Greek yogurt remains popular, with a double-digit gain in dollar sales and units shipped from distributors to food service operators. But yogurt products targeting the children’s market also realized double-digit gains over the previous year.