We Tried A Bakers Dozen Yogurts--So You Don't Have To!

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/7/2009 5:31 AM   :  388 comments

Until now, the dailySpark has been reviewing foods one at a time. We're trying something different. We'll review several varieties of one food, then share the pros and cons with you. We won't pick a "winner," because taste is subjective. We will share our comments and opinions in the new series Supermarket Survey.

How often do you buy a food at the grocery store, only to get it home and try it--and dislike it. It's too sweet, not flavorful, too thick, not filling enough, etc.? It's disappointing--and expensive! That's why we're we're doing these large-scale reviews.

We started with yogurt: fat-free vanilla and low-fat strawberry. We tried them all: organic and conventional, creamy and chunky, thick and thin. We even tried a soy yogurt.

Take a peek at our evaluation and our comments!




Comments:



Cascade Fresh had fruit on the bottom, a very natural flavor and a natural color. It looked darker and redder than the other yogurts when stirred.


Dannon was sweeter than the other fruit on the bottom variety, and it had great chunks of real strawberry. Our testers were big fans of the fruit on the bottom varieties because they like to control the amount of fruit in each bite.


Silk was hit with the tasters who loved FrankenBerry cereal as a kid. This is a soy yogurt, and most people said they'd like it more if they didn't think of it as yogurt.


Stonyfield Farm had a great natural color (meaning it was a reddish pink and not hot pink), large chunks of fruit and a nice creamy consistency.


Yoplait Original is a blended yogurt but still has fruit chunks. This was a favorite for a few tasters.


Yoplait Whips had mixed reviews, but the reviews were strong. Some people LOVED this light, fluffy yogurt. They thought it would be a great substitute for whipped cream. Others thought it had a strange aftertaste. It reminded some people of a dessert their grandmothers made--and they loved it.


Yoplus+ was tops with our reviewers. It had chunks and was very creamy and smooth. The strawberry flavor was strong, and it was nicely sweetened.



Comments:



Both Dannon yogurts had good, intense flavors. They were good on their own with no additions.


The Horizon yogurt had a slightly sour taste and was really creamy. We agreed it would be perfect in a parfait.


The OIKOS yogurt had great texture. It was thick, creamy and flavorful. However, it wasn't sweet enough and had a very mild vanilla flavor. We wanted to add sugar or honey to it. It would be good alongside some sweet fruit preserves or berries.


Stonyfield Farm's yogurt had the truest vanilla flavor. It was very runny, but that would be good if you wanted to drizzle it on granola or fruit.

If you want thick, custardy yogurt, go for the Yoplait, which was the thickest. It was very sweet and creamy--perfect for a dessert. (no photo available)

What is your favorite yogurt? Do you prefer creamy or fruit on the bottom yogurts? Do you like this new food feature? What other categories of foods should we review for you?


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Comments

  • AMDONA
    338
    I love all the Greek yogurts, plain, not sweetened, I add a little stevia, and it's really good! The sugar they add to the sweetened yogurt is sooooo sweet, I've cut out all that extra sugar! Once you get used to it you can't eat the sweets so much anymore, which is so much better for your body. - 5/12/2009   10:48:09 PM
  • 337
    I like the great value (walmart) nonfat yogurt. It has fruit in it, isn't runny and only 90 calories per serving. It is also cheaper than the other brands.




    - 5/12/2009   10:29:44 PM
  • 336
    My favorite is not mentioned. I prefer the WW Cherry Cheesecake. - 5/12/2009   10:25:58 PM
  • KEEPONMOVING
    335
    To: CICILAMINO, Tulsa, Oklahoma has greek yogurt. Try Reasors or Whole Foods Grocery. Even Food Pyramid should have it. They are usually located with the Soy milk or organic milk section. Plain greek yogurt is good subsitute for sour cream in recipes. Watch out for the fat grams on the back. Some that are not fat free has as much as 14 grams of fat! - 5/12/2009   10:01:02 PM
  • ANITA1156
    334
    I love the Greek Fage 0% Fat yogurt also!! I get the plain and then add whatever I am in the mood for...walnuts, frozen berries, cinnamon and sometimes when the sweet tooth requires it, a drizzle of honey. I especially like that it is so satisfying and a great source for protein - 15 grams per serving! WOW! - 5/12/2009   9:35:19 PM
  • 333
    It took me a long time to like any yogurt. I like Yoplait fat-free blackberry or Fiber One Strawberry the best. Whips aren't too bad either. They are more like a dessert, but I don't need or want the extra calories they pack. I've tried Greek yogurt and didn't like it at all. - 5/12/2009   8:46:57 PM
  • PATOOTIE67
    332
    I'm addicted to Fage as well 0%. Add fruit, pecans, cinnamon (supposed to be a great anti-inflammatory), skim milk - a little granola, a tbs honey. YUM - 5/12/2009   7:24:54 PM
  • 331
    My favorite flavored yogurt is Mountain High Lowfat Strawberry or Vanilla. I do not like most flavored yogurts because of the sugar they use (and the aftertaste, bleh). For plain, I like Danon nonfat or Fage.

    - 5/12/2009   6:56:23 PM
  • 330
    I've never heard of Cascade - can it be found anywhere? Or do I have to go to a particular store? I also am going to try the Activia - can always use help with my digestion! I was afraid that it would taste horrid - but this review has convinced me to try it! - 5/12/2009   6:35:22 PM
  • 329
    I like Stonyfield Farm Low fat yogurt the best because they use organic ingredients. Trader Joe also makes good, inexpensive, organic yogurt. Flavored yogurts usually contain sugar, however, most of the "popular" yogurts like Yoplait and Dannon use artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup, which is the worst. Greek yogurt's lower sugar and higher protein content makes you feel fuller. Keep in mind: full-fat versions of both regular and Greek yogurt can be heavy in saturated fat. Overall, consuming yogurt that is the lowest in fat and sugar is the best kind of yogurt if you are trying to lose and/or maintain your weight. - 5/12/2009   5:57:01 PM
  • PIXIEMOM1
    328
    I love Dannon fotb. I feel like I ate something. it is also the first yogart I started eating when I was in collage so have some memories of hanging with my friends at lunch with my ever present cup of DFOTB. blue berry and strawberry-banana are my fave. Can't find lemon in that one any more so have to make due with light (good but not filling) - 5/12/2009   5:13:02 PM
  • 327
    I like the Fage Greek Yogurt. Costco has 1 quart container for about $6.99.
    It's 20 grams of protein for 1 cup. - 5/12/2009   5:04:29 PM
  • 326
    My ultimate favorite is LIGHT & FIT NONFAT CHERRY VANILLA. I eat at least one of these every day. It has a great taste and texture with chunks of fruit in it and is lower in calories than Yoplait and you get more of it. - 5/12/2009   4:01:11 PM
  • 325
    I LOVE -- Stonyfield Farm's Organic Fat Free French Vanilla Smooth & Creamy yogurt. I love my smoothies. - 5/12/2009   3:31:15 PM
  • 324
    I didn't know Silk made yogurt. I'll have to give it a try. - 5/12/2009   3:14:45 PM
  • ERICB27
    323
    Wow, VERY COOL! I have been touting CascadeFresh for about 7 years (including a couple on this website), and it's finally getting the attention it deserves!!! Cultured in the cup, no sugar added, just a little fruit juice, and the best tasting yogurt in its class!! Nice job!!! - 5/12/2009   3:01:24 PM
  • 322
    I like them all. In fact, I am headed for the fridge right now! - 5/12/2009   2:49:50 PM
  • 321
    I love the activia! I have only gotten to try the 3 kinds that come in the costco pack so don't know if the have more, if so I would love to try. I found it really helped with my digestion track better that yoplait. - 5/12/2009   2:44:16 PM
  • NHGREENIE
    320
    I am an addict of Stonyfield's. I just love the texture and flavor of their yogurts, and was especially excited to try their Greek yogurt. I love that it's so thick and creamy I could almost be eating a desert, but without the guilt. I'm also partial to Stonyfield's because the company is constantly trying to be as environmentally and health conscious as they can. They are also based ten minutes from my home, so I know that when I buy Stonyfield products I am supporting the local economy, jobs, and am keeping shipping emissions down. - 5/12/2009   2:15:42 PM
  • 319
    I make my own yogurt using Chobani brand Greek yogurt as my starter. I use the 0% fat-free one.and fat free organic milk.(Milk is one of the few "splurges" I makes on organic products - money is tight but I feel it is worth it). I like this yogurt brand because it is all natural and not terribly expensive. You need to use yogurt with active and live culture for your starter which this brand has. For those of you that don't know Greek yogurt is actually just plain yogurt that has been strained of its liquid through cheesecloth to make it thicker in consistency. We use yogurt for dips, dressings, and many, many things in place of sour cream in my house. I can sweeten it, add vanilla, fresh fruit, etc. to my taste and I know exactly what is in it. I make several Greek dishes and Tzatziki Sauce is a family favorite condiment with them. It is low cal and refreshing. I know little about what's out there as far as store brand yogurt these days. My sister, who also makes her own yogurt, (I just recently taught her how to make Greek yogurt) says I would hate the store brand yogurts. - 5/12/2009   1:44:26 PM
  • 318
    i live in Tulsa Oklahoma, i would like to try the Greek yougurt, but i have never seen it in our local stores. We have Target, WalMart, am i just missing it? Is anyone here from Oklahoma?
    Annamaria - 5/12/2009   1:23:01 PM
  • 317
    I find that if I add 1/2 cup creamy vanilla yogurt to my cooked oats for breakfast that it really adds flavor & satisfaction. I also like to use yogurt as a dipping sauce - 5/12/2009   12:59:41 PM
  • BKUTNER
    316
    You missed the best yogurt it's from Kroger the Carbmaster yogurt. It's great for diabetics very low carbs, low sugar and high in protein. Makes a great snack only 80 calories. - 5/12/2009   12:52:43 PM
  • 315
    I like this article, and others where you review items - but i wish you would take ingredients into consideration. I know Yoplait (and probably others on the list) contain HFCS and other such ingredients. I would much rather buy a yogurt like Chobani Greek that contains only milk and cultures than Yoplait which has a lot of chemicals. Ingredients should definitely be mentioned! - 5/12/2009   12:11:33 PM
  • 314
    One yogurt to consider is Brown Cow. I love it the most. It is totally natural, not too sweet because so many are way too sweet and really not that good for you because of the high sugar content. - 5/12/2009   12:10:59 PM
  • SARAH2SMOM
    313
    My favorits is the Light n' Fit Vanilla. Great by itself, or as a drizzle on fruit or granolas. - 5/12/2009   11:50:28 AM
  • 312
    I am addicted to greek yogurt. Love the taste and consistency. Also, a great replacement for sour cream, or as a fat replacer in other recipes! - 5/12/2009   11:45:08 AM
  • 311
    I have really developed a taste for plain yogurt! It's a breakfast staple for me. I use it in smoothie's and eat it with fruit, on oatmeal or bran cereral. I recently tried straining it to remove all of the liquid - makes it thick (sour cream consistency) and very creamy and removes the tartness. Strained, it can also be substitued for sour cream. - 5/12/2009   11:30:49 AM
  • 310
    This is a great way to do reviews! - 5/12/2009   11:28:17 AM
  • 309
    I love this article. I'm not much of the yogurt fan until I was told Activia, non fat Vanilla. Eat at room temp. It was ok. However I did not notice any digestive difference and it had the extra sugar...then Greek yogurt was introduced..yum yum..I use the one with the honey on the side or I will buy the plain and add raw honey. I believe if I need sugar let it be raw, demera or raw honey. - 5/12/2009   11:06:52 AM
  • 308
    I love to smaller containers of yogurt like yoplait yoplus..just the right size for a snack and lots of added nutrients - 5/12/2009   10:32:33 AM
  • 307
    Nutrition Facts: Fat Free Plain Yogurt
    32 oz

    Ingredients: Organic Grade A pasteurized nonfat milk, organic sugar, fructan (NutraFloraŽ, a natural dietary fiber), pectin, live and active yogurt cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, L. casei, Bifidobacterium longum.



    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size 1 cup (227g)
    Servings Per Container 4



    Amount Per Serving


    Calories 110 Calories from Fat 0


    % Daily Value *


    Total Fat 0g 0%

    Saturated Fat 0g 0%

    Trans Fat 0g

    Cholesterol 5mg 2%

    Sodium 160mg 7%

    Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 1g 4%

    Sugars 15g

    Protein 11g

    Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 4%
    Calcium 35% Iron 0%

    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Calories: 2,000 2,500


    Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
    Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g
    Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg
    Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
    Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

    Calories per gram:
    Fat 9 Carbohydrate 4 Protein 4

    - 5/12/2009   10:21:59 AM
  • TAMGA33
    306
    I love the Cascade Fresh brand. It is made with RSbT Free Milk and is sweetened only with Fruit juice. Lower calories and higher protein than a lot of comparable brands. Also contains live cultures. Comes in lots of great flavors and in both Low Fat and Fat Free varieties. - 5/12/2009   10:20:03 AM
  • 305
    I pretty much stick to Mountain High Fat-Free Vanilla yogurt. It's thick and creamy, comes in a large tub and often is on sale at Albertson's. We figure that it's cheaper than the Kirkland brand we were buying. I got tired of those flavors.

    Now, I spoon it into a little container and adjust the quantity to what I like. Sometimes I eat it plain and sometimes I add a dab of jam. It's not too sweet alone and has a good vanilla flavor, sometimes I just want something a little different. - 5/12/2009   10:17:22 AM
  • 304
    Something to note, some of the sugar in yogurt is from the lactose in the dairy. This is why there is still "sugar" in plain yogurt. There are definitely brand though that add way too much regular sugar (whether it's table sugar, HCFS, crystalline fructose, etc.) - 5/12/2009   10:13:36 AM
  • FAYEGODBEY
    303
    Thanks for the interesting comparison. Info helpful. Sorry you did not try a light strawberry for comparison. - 5/12/2009   10:13:20 AM
  • 302
    I prefer fruit on the bottom, but I eat non-fat blended bc it's less calories...so Yoplait light is my favorite TASTING, but it probably tastes so good bc of the HFCS....booooo! When it's on sale I do enjoy Cascade Fresh bc it's natural, sweet, and not too many cals. - 5/12/2009   10:08:40 AM
  • SARAHE1956
    301
    LOVE ANY OR THE YOUGERTS - 5/12/2009   10:07:54 AM
  • 300
    Great blog, I like the multiple option review!

    I also would recommend the Fage 'Total' products. The 0% is absolutely fine and I used it for a long time, but personally I have found the 2% one is a little tastier so I have that at home now.
    I do use it for everything though, as a yogurt with fruit or cereal, instead of cream/sour cream for cooking with, as a base for dips (mixed with a little milk and extra light cream cheese) or as a topping for puddings (tastes great with mixed berries (or figs) with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey).

    Mmm, now I want to go eat some!! - 5/12/2009   10:00:46 AM
  • SNOWFAN
    299
    I never knew Yoplait contained HFCS. My fault for not reading the label close enough. From all the buzz, I will be trying the Greek style yogurts. They sound very yummy! Great information here. - 5/12/2009   9:57:17 AM
  • 298
    Okay... someone just told me there was a chart... my browser was acting up and not showing me any graphics, just the reviews. So scratch that! - 5/12/2009   9:53:32 AM
  • CORDELIA724
    297
    Dannon lowfat is my all time favorite. I like the calorie count, the consistency and the flavor. I came kicking and draging to it, but now I am hooked. It can be eaten plain or dressed up. - 5/12/2009   9:49:08 AM
  • 296
    Thanks for the yogurt reviews. I wish they were a bit more comprehensive. Maybe consumer report style reviews? I know you didn't want to select a favorite but perhaps grading each of the tested yogurts on 5 characteristics (I just made up a random number) something like color, texture, sweetness, price and perhaps protein content or whatever. You don't have go give an overall best score but it would make things easier to glance and determine which one would be best for you depending on what qualities you find most important in a yogurt. I also know you wanted to avoid selecting the *best* yogurt because taste is clearly subjective but I would be interested in knowing which ones the reviewers liked the best overall as well as perhaps reviewer comments.

    Also it would be helpful if either more yogurts were reviewed and ideally similar types as well. So not only would I be interested in comparing something like Fage to Dannon but also Fage to Trader Joes brand Greek yogurt.

    Okay, maybe I have a touch of OCD - 5/12/2009   9:47:53 AM
  • ELONWILRN
    295
    I find that Weight Watchers nonfat yogurt is lower in calories ( 100 per container)and fat( .5gms per container) than any of the ones you listed and I really enjoy the taste and texture. Especially Amaretto Cheesecake. - 5/12/2009   9:34:43 AM
  • EJKING
    294
    I'm a little disappointed to see that the probiotic value wasn't considered--really one of the top benefits of eating yogurt. I eat brands like Stoneyfield Farms, Brown Cow, Mountain High, and Nancy's that are organic, but also have four or more probiotic culture types, tend to have less sugar and less filler junk. Brands like Dannon and Yoplait tend to not have as much nutritional value in comparison. I want the probiotics because they are very helpful to your gut and some studies suggest there may be benefits to your immune system. Our family has found the most benefit when we eat yogurt on an empty stomach, rather than with meals. - 5/12/2009   9:34:37 AM
  • 293
    Love the Dannon ~ Carb control. - 5/12/2009   9:32:49 AM
  • 292
    Personally,I do not like yogurt at all.I'm not sure if it is the taste or the consistency.I have tried all kinds. If I had to pick one ,it would be Whips because the consistency is more like eating whipped cream. - 5/12/2009   9:18:13 AM
  • LOSBORNE91
    291
    I have tried yogurt in the past and never liked it. A friend recently told me about Yoplait Light Harvest Peach. I tried it and liked the sweetness. That was the missing factor before. Will stick with the Yoplait light because I need the additional Calcium. - 5/12/2009   9:03:18 AM
  • JBLAZER123
    290
    I like this evaluation! Yogurt is one of my favorite snacks and it is interesting to see the comments on all the different types. Let's see more of this type of thing! - 5/12/2009   9:02:46 AM
  • 289
    I found that I like some store brand Light yogurts from Meijer. - 5/12/2009   9:01:09 AM

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