7 Lessons From the Yogurt Showroom

 

Take a tour down the yogurt aisle of the grocery store and it will remind you of a showroom. I bet you will be surprised at how many new styles of products and choices you can buy. You can choose from plain, fruit, blend, probiotic, tubes, bars, breakfast blends, high-fiber, smoothies, squirts from a tube, natural, light, extra creamy, and if that is not enough, most of these come in Greek, too. According to a press release from Packaged Facts, yogurt sales were $7.3 billion dollars in the US in 2012 and they are expected to pass $9 billion in 2 more years. Greek yogurt rings in at about $1.6 billion dollars for 2012, which represents a 50% growth rate.

Your choices won't stop in the refrigerator section. Go to the freezer and you are met with frozen yogurt along with frozen Greek yogurt and frozen Greek yogurt bars.

So, how do you make sense of all of this, never mind choose one? That is what we wanted to find out!

1. Greek: Win 2, Lose 2. Our first observation is that everyone is going Greek. For almost every traditional yogurt choice, there is a Greek counterpart. Our first lesson, in comparing most of these regular yogurts to Greek yogurts is that you win some and lose some. Greek yogurt has half the sugar and double the protein. But regular yogurt has 30% more calcium and 20% fewer calories. Greek wins, in our opinion for taste, thickness and versatility. Here is the comparison between regular and Greek with the plain versions:

Plain Nonfat Yogurt: Calories: Fat (g): Sugars (g): Protein (g): Calcium (mg): Size:
Chobani 0% Plain Greek Yogurt 100 0 7 18 200 6 oz
Dannon Plain Nonfat Yogurt 80 0 12 9 300 6 oz

 

2. The portable squeeze tubes are not that high in calcium because they are a smaller size. We liken these to eating a frozen yogurt bar but in a tube. But they are portable and you can eat them without a spoon.

Plain Nonfat Yogurt: Calories: Fat (g): Sugars (g): Protein (g): Calcium (mg): Size:
Chobani Tube 70 1 8 5 60 2.25 oz
GoGurt 70 .5 10 2 100 2.25 oz

 

3. Dessert and yogurt blend together. The frozen yogurt and frozen yogurt bars are somewhere in the middle of our comparison chart with regards to calories, sugar content and calcium. The frozen yogurt bars make great ice cream swaps for people who are watching calories or for persons with diabetes who have to plan meals. Plus they contain 100-200 mg of calcium:

calories fat sugars protein calcium size
Chobani Tube 70 1 8 5 60 2.25 oz
GoGurt 70 0.5 10 2 100 2.25 oz
Yasso Frozen Yogurt Bars 80 0 12 6 100 2.5 oz
Dannon Light and Fit Greek 80 0 6 12 150 5.3 oz
Dannon Light and Fit 80 0 11 5 200 6 oz
Dannon Plain Nonfat 80 0 12 9 300 6 oz
Yoplait Light 90 0 10 5 200 6 oz
Chobani 0% Plain 100 0 7 18 200 6 oz
Chobani Chips 100 1.5 13 8 100 3.5 oz
Yoplait Greek 110 0 13 8 250 4 oz
Yoplait Frozen Yogurt 110 2 18 3 100 1/2 cup
Activa Fiber (3 g fiber) 110 2 16 4 150 4 oz
Yoplait Lowfat Frozen Yogurt Bars 120 2.5 19 4 150 1.75 oz
Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt 130 2.5 19 7 200 1/2 cup
Dannon Oikos 130 0 19 12 150 5.3 oz
Activa Greek 130 0 18 12 150 5.3 oz
Chobani Non Fat 140 0 19 14 150 6 oz
Chobani Low Fat 160 3 17 14 150 6 oz
Chobani Sunrise 160 2.5 15 11 150 5.3 oz
Dannon Oikos Original 160 4.5 18 11 150 5.3 oz
Dannon All Natural 160 2.5 25 8 250 6 oz
Yoplait Original 170 1.5 26 5 200 6 oz
Yoplait Thick Creamy 180 2.5 28 7 300 6 oz
Activa Breakfast Blend 190 3 26 11 300 6 oz

 

4. Yogurt IS very versatile. You can eat it for breakfast, snacks, desserts or as an appetizer if you make it into dip.

5. Natural can be higher in calories and yet not the highest in calcium. The best "natural choice" is the plain yogurt listed in lesson number one because it has the most calcium and the least amount of added sugar. And that is a one stop yogurt that you can make into anything.

calories fat sugars protein calcium size
Chobani tube 70 1 8 5 60 2.25 oz
GoGurt 70 0.5 10 2 100 2.25 oz
Yasso Frozen Yogurt Bars 80 0 12 6 100 2.5 oz
Dannon Light and Fit Greek 80 0 6 12 150 5.3 oz
Dannon Light and Fit 80 0 11 5 200 6 oz
Dannon Plain Nonfat 80 0 12 9 300 6 oz
Yoplait Light 90 0 10 5 200 6 oz
Chobani 0% Plain 100 0 7 18 200 6 oz
Chobani Chips 100 1.5 13 8 100 3.5 oz
Yoplait Greek 110 0 13 8 250 4 oz
Yoplait Frozen Yogurt 110 2 18 3 100 1/2 cup
Activa Fiber (3 g fiber) 110 2 16 4 150 4 oz
Yoplait Lowfat Frozen Yogurt Bars 120 2.5 19 4 150 1.75 oz
Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt 130 2.5 19 7 200 1/2 cup
Dannon Oikos 130 0 19 12 150 5.3 oz
Activa Greek 130 0 18 12 150 5.3 oz
Chobani Non Fat 140 0 19 14 150 6 oz
Chobani Low Fat 160 3 17 14 150 6 oz
Chobani Sunrise 160 2.5 15 11 150 5.3 oz
Dannon Oikos Original 160 4.5 18 11 150 5.3 oz
Dannon All Natural 160 2.5 25 8 250 6 oz
Yoplait Original 170 1.5 26 5 200 6 oz
Yoplait Thick Creamy 180 2.5 28 7 300 6 oz
Activa Breakfast Blend 190 3 26 11 300 6 oz

 

6. It is fun to experiment. Try different flavors and varieties. Watch for sale items. And read the label because you can end up with a yogurt that has more calories than a dessert yogurt. It is always helpful to check ingredients to be sure the first one starts with milk.

We discovered that we really liked the Dannon Light and Fit Greek because it only has 80 calories and 6 grams of sugar, yet it is thick and contains 150 mg of calcium. But the Chobani 0% plain is just great for all kinds of cooking projects and it tastes GREAT as a tart, creamy addition to raw oats and fruit for breakfast. We even use it like sour cream on top of our burritos.

7. The breakfast blends are a little higher in calories and sugar. You might be better off to make a Muesli with plain yogurt, fruit and oats.

calories fat sugars protein calcium size
Chobani tube 70 1 8 5 60 2.25 oz
GoGurt 70 0.5 10 2 100 2.25 oz
Yasso Frozen Yogurt Bars 80 0 12 6 100 2.5 oz
Dannon Light and Fit Greek 80 0 6 12 150 5.3 oz
Dannon Light and Fit 80 0 11 5 200 6 oz
Dannon Plain Nonfat 80 0 12 9 300 6 oz
Yoplait Light 90 0 10 5 200 6 oz
Chobani 0% Plain 100 0 7 18 200 6 oz
Chobani Chips 100 1.5 13 8 100 3.5 oz
Yoplait Greek 110 0 13 8 250 4 oz
Yoplait Frozen Yogurt 110 2 18 3 100 1/2 cup
Activa Fiber (3 g fiber) 110 2 16 4 150 4 oz
Yoplait Lowfat Frozen Yogurt Bars 120 2.5 19 4 150 1.75 oz
Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt 130 2.5 19 7 200 1/2 cup
Dannon Oikos 130 0 19 12 150 5.3 oz
Activa Greek 130 0 18 12 150 5.3 oz
Chobani Non Fat 140 0 19 14 150 6 oz
Chobani Low Fat 160 3 17 14 150 6 oz
Chobani Sunrise 160 2.5 15 11 150 5.3 oz
Dannon Oikos Original 160 4.5 18 11 150 5.3 oz
Dannon All Natural 160 2.5 25 8 250 6 oz
Yoplait Original 170 1.5 26 5 200 6 oz
Yoplait Thick Creamy 180 2.5 28 7 300 6 oz
Activa Breakfast Blend 190 3 26 11 300 6 oz

 Whatever you select, enjoy your yogurt. It counts as a milk serving with MyPlate, too.

Resources:

Download the Excel file of our yogurt comparisons: yogurtlist

Read Cheryle Jones Syracuse's "Great Greek  Yogurt Experiment"

Read Cheryle Jones Syracuse's 10 Ways to Enjoy Ice Cream Pleasures

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