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Fage Yogurt Now Made in the USA

Bought Fage 0% at Trader Joe's in Oakland, CA, yesterday with a use-by date of July 1. I checked the container and it says "MANUFACTURED AT FAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc." in Johnstown, NY. The yogurt, thankfully, tastes the same as ever.

I had read in the April 13 story in the NY Times magazine about Greek yogurt that Fage was opening its US plant in April. The retail price hasn't changed, naturally, but the yogurt will be fresher when we get it and much less fuel will be used to get it to us.

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  1. Jeez, as long as we don't CHANGE it, we'll be okay...I can't help but think that bringing the production to the US is not a good thing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Val

      I really do think it had to with high demand here. As you say, so long as the product doesn't change. So far, so good.

    2. I think they've been making it in the US for a while. I recall that, a couple of years ago, I was able to get the sheep's milk version from Greece, which was always right on the shelf next to the cow's milk kind. Then I noticed that I couldn't get the sheep's milk anymore, and that the graphic on the lid had changed... it took me a while to figure out what was going on, but then I realized that it was no longer a Greek product. I still buy it and enjoy it, but who among us could really be certain that it tastes the same as it did before?

      3 Replies
      1. re: vvvindaloo

        I think those changes happened when there was a whole kerfuffle about proper licensing and imports became sketchy for a while in some places. There were a couple of threads about it at the time, where people were becoming panicked because they couldn't find it in their stores. It appears they just don't sell the sheep's milk yogurt in the US anymore - maybe they didn't sell enough? Anyway, according to the NY Times article I noted in my OP, they just opened their first US plant last month.

        http://www.fageusa.com/products.html

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          yes, i remember at least one of those threads, from more than a year ago. i asked if anyone had seen my fage with the cute sheep drawing on the foil :) little did i know that i may never see it again... (at least not at Whole Foods).
          i did not read the article, and know nothing about their plants. but i do know for a fact that the fage i've been eating for at least the past 2 years has indicated that it was made by fage usa. not only was there no mention of fage usa when i first began eating it, but nearly all of the language on the container was in Greek.

          1. re: vvvindaloo

            The carton I bought yesterday said "manufactured in Greece" *imported by* Fage USA, which means that, at least until now, it could be just be the name of the importing/distributing entity. I think they changed the packaging as part of whole issue of being approved for sale in the US, when, as people noted, they had to stop selling for a while. I knew they were planning a plant in the US, so periodically I've checked the label, and it's always said "manufactured in Greece."

      2. Oh please, just let is be the same wonderful Fage it has always been. Fingers are crossed.

        7 Replies
        1. re: chaddick

          I've found the yogurt made in the US to be more sour, less creamy and to have a different mouth feel. It also has a layer of whey on the top, which I never found with the yogurt made in Greece. Maybe it's the cows (or what they're eating), but it doesn't taste the same to me at all.

          1. re: SnappyH

            Agree. I just tried some of the US-made Fage, and it did have more of a sour bite to it plus a chalkier mouth feel. Even the parchment paper on top clung to the yogurt in a way the Greek-made stuff never did.

            1. re: SnappyH

              Yes I totally agree with SnappyH - the yogurt made in the USA is not as good as the Greek version. It is sour---- I am soooo disappointed. When I read they were making it here I sent fage a long letter expressing my displeasure with the US manufacturing idea - they assured me they would follow the "same high standards" but did not assure me it would taste the same. I may have to find another yogurt.

              1. re: SnappyH

                Yep We have been switched and baited.. FAGE is no longer authentic Greek stained yogurt!!!

                DOES ANYONE NOTICE THE ADDED INGREDIENT CORN STARCH ???

                What that does is make a much larger profit for the Yogurt companies by not having to strain so much yogurt and add a thickening agent to make it thick without loosing profits despite that corn starch is GMO & taste like chalk.

                It's not Fage's fault! The other yogurt big brands got on the band wagon offering Greek yogurt but used corn starch to thicken instead of authentic straining just to make bigger profits .. So Fage followed suit..

                Greeks in Greece would taste a big difference to the crap they are selling us here!!

                Want real Greek yogurt? Strain it yourself from clean yogurt .

                1. re: worldgirl5

                  Where do you see corn starch? It's not on my labels, nor is it on their web site ingredient list.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Indeed. The only ingredients listed on any tub I've ever bought (I've never bought anything but plain) are grade A pasteurized milk and active cultures.

                  2. re: worldgirl5

                    There's no corn starch in Fage yogurt. If you have flavored yogurt like blueberry, then sometimes there is corn starch in the flavored mix.

                    I had Fage a few times in Greece last month. It tastes the same as what I get in the US. I did try a couple other Greek brands and I Fage was thicker than the other brands I tried.

              2. If Fage can make Fage here, I wonder why Dannon doesn't come out with a similar product.

                I gave up Fage as part of my recessionary penny-pinching. If it's made in the USA and the price doesn't come down, I may never go back.

                I do love it, though.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Angela Roberta

                  Trader Joes has a similar product that is about 50% cheaper.

                  1. re: Angela Roberta

                    Fage isn't the only game in town, but it was the only Greek-made yogurt that I could find in 2% fat, which I love.

                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                      TJ's makes a 2% version, which, as codasco stated, is much less expensive...and personally i like both the taste & texture even better than fage.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yes, thank you ghg. But I had specified "Greek-made"...
                        I appreciate your suggestion, though.

                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                          i know, sorry - it's the only 2% i've found besides the fage...there doesn't seem to be any other good, widely available greek-made yogurt in the states.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            have you tried Chobani's 2% ? I'm not much of a yogurt expert, but I really like Chobani. It's manufactured in NY.

                            1. re: sleonhardt

                              I love Chobani . I don't buy Fage anymore.

                    2. re: Angela Roberta

                      I am not sure where you buy it - I get it for $1.57 at Big Y - MA!
                      It is some individual retailers that are insisting on charging the $1.99. I have posted a more detailed reply to a similar concern - price related - somewhere below...

                    3. This is the second morning I ate the US made fage, and there is a real and noticeable difference. It is not as thick as the Greek-made version, and it just tastes different and definitely not as good. The other thing I noticed is that it has a longer expiration period, which was not the case with the Greek version. I will have to try the other Greek made yogurt since this is not the Fage I know and love. Boo-hoo!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: roxlet

                        I so agree. I'm so sad about the change. Have you found another brand comparable? I live on this and will so miss it.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          It has a longer expiration period because it does not have transit time from Greece before it is shipped to your grocery store. That's a good thing. The changes in the yogurt itself are not good.

                        2. I assume that the "made in Greece" will be phased out, but this morning I bought Fage made in Greece with a late July use by date.

                          1. I concur with other posters, the 0% is definitely much tarter and has a less pleasant mouthfeel than the Greek. Re "the retail price hasn't changed, naturally": and why not??? Since the Greek stuff was imported at considerable transportation cost per package (refrigerated transport is not cheap), even given distribution costs in the US from the NY plant, you would certainly think the US manufacturer could sell at a (at least) somewhat lower price and still make lots of $$$ on what must be a fairly low-cost product to make...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: buttertart

                              I totally agree with all the posts about the US fage - it's just not as good. I think the only way to have any affect at all is to bombard the corporate _ "Contact us" - e-mail. This change in product is such a dissapointment.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Of course it will cost Fage much less now that they're manufacturing in the US, but do you honestly think they'd lower the cost of a product they've been successfully commandeering a premium for for years?

                              2. My local Stop & Shop here in CT carries Fage. I checked yesterday and the 2% was made in Greece, but the 0% was manufactured in NY.

                                1. Caitlin - Unfortunately, now that it is made in New York, the quality is no longer good. The consistency is definitely not the same and the honey doesn't taste like the one that comes from Greece. Also, if you ever had the cherry before, it use to have whole chunks of fress cherries in it and it was on the tart side. Now the cherry is just mushy and sweet. I am totally disappointed now. I wish there was a way to buy the ones that are made in Greece, which were of much better quality.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mgarvin

                                    I only ever buy large tubs of plain O%, so I can't comment on your other points, but I agree that the consistency is not smooth and light like the made-in-Greece product was, and the flavor is sourer. I'm surprised at some of the previous comments about whey on top of the paper and the paper not "peeling off perfectly" now, because I frequently encountered some whey on the top of the Greek-made Fage, and have had only smooth-peeling paper on US-made cartons. FWIW, I've only encountered US-made Fage since my initial post in this thread, bought at different stores (not all TJ's) in the same area.

                                  2. I have HAD it with Fage, or at least the NY manufactured yogurt.

                                    I responded some time ago on another thread about Fage yogurt with a strange, flocculated, grainy wet ricotta style case of yogurt I had received one week from my grocer.

                                    (For background, I have a standing order for Fage for a case of 0% and a case of 2% every week - I eat it at almost every meal, and have for about two years.)

                                    I found a trade article explaining the manufacturing faults that were the likely cause. I complained to Fage USA, got a free case of delicious US made Fage, and went on with my standing order, hoping it was a fluke.

                                    Nope. I can add details if necessary, but in short, all of the cases I have gotten out of a particular NY plant have been "off". This week, the 0% was from the NY plant, the 2% from a "GR" plant. The 0% is unpleasant to eat. It tastes "off", as though it is just on the verge of spoiling. The texture is bad. It is full of little air holes. I eat the zero yogurt with my lunch and dinner, usually, or for a snack, so having a whole case of two-dollar a pop Fage is is maddening. I can't decide whether to toss it or just smother it with sweetener and pretend it doesn't taste wrong and bad.

                                    Last week the 2% was from NY, and same problem. It tastes "off", as though it was just at the point of spoiling. It was overly sour at first taste, then a bad aftertaste.
                                    I only eat 2% for breakfast, and use the rest for cooking or serve at breakfast to my other family members. Well that week I didn't dare put it in front of them. Right now it's in the fridge, but I guess I'm just going to toss it out. I don't want to eat it...this weeks 2% case is from greece and tastes great.

                                    The week before that it was the zero percent again. For some reason I've been getting cases from different plants, one each week from NY and the other from a "GR" plant. Guess which one always has the yuckier yogurt.

                                    This is three shipments in a row.
                                    There is a problem in New York.

                                    FWIW, I pick up my yogurt as a special order. It comes straight out of cold storage the day it is shipped to the store. I put it in a cooler full of cold packs and take it straight home. I put it straight in the fridge, I eat some almost as soon as I get it unpacked and put away. So it's nothing new happening on my end to account for it, nor for the different quality of the GR and NY yogurts.

                                    I am not throwing good money away every week anymore for a nasty case of yogurt.
                                    If my yogurt is "off" again next week ( I have not cancelled yet, so its coming) I will return it to the store and never accept a case out of New York again.

                                    I don't think my grocer can guarantee which plant my standing order will come from, so I will just buy off the shelf only those containers that have the "GR" code, and even then a few at a time to make sure the batch is good.

                                    As soon as Trader Joe's hits town I will probably try to switch brands completely.

                                    What the heck is going on in New York?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SarahWW

                                      I'm wondering if somehow there's a difference in the plant-to-distributor shipping, or something like that? Seems a little weird that they could "get away" with it if it were their entire stock - why would large numbers of people keep buying it? Not that you shouldn't keep complaining - obviously they aren't looking very hard or haven't found the problem yet and needless to say, that's a pain.

                                      But mostly I'm posting to note that I was surprised to notice that a local store (in NYC coincidentally), the full-fat version in small containers is still imported from Greece (the exp date is 7/14 so it must be a fairly recent arrival.) I bought several containers lest it be the last of its kind but I'm hoping maybe there's "little enough" demand for the FF that it might not be cost effective to manufacture it here. While I haven't tasted any of the domestic yet - I rarely eat straight yogurt so I don't buy all that much - I don't see how it could possibly taste "the same", since I can't imagine they're importing the milk they make it with. Even if the flavor isn't dramatically different there must be some sort of noticeable difference? I'm not even an amateur yogurt expert, but even if the starter cultures are still produced in Greece and sent here to their US plants, I don't see how it could unless the culturing somehow is enough to mask that?

                                      1. re: MikeG

                                        I think quality control must be a problem. I received a free case after complaining about NY fage with the "grainy" problem. It was good.

                                        But sadly no shipment I've gotten out of New York has been good since.
                                        I've gotten hree mixed shipments ( one case from Greece, one from NY) : Greece good, NY, bad.

                                        There are so many variables that could go wrong it's hard to guess what is going on in NY.
                                        Sanitizer in production vats or milk trucks can lead to grainy texture, it causes milk proteins to clump in large curds that can't be smoothed out.

                                        Improper or incomplete mixing can lead to "hot spots" in the culture.

                                        Milk trucks from the Dairy might have sanitizer or have been used for some other product besides milk.

                                        The Milk might be older than it should be,

                                        The Milk might be from cows who are eating something that changes the flavor of the milk - something that adds an off-taste.

                                        The processing yogurt might not be stirred thouroughly enough, or the temperatures controlled well enough.

                                        It could be sitting in storage with temperature fluctuations, or
                                        as you suggest, the way it is handled as it is leaving the factory or distributed is a factor.

                                        The confounding thing is the Greek-manufactured Fage I get would probably come on the same truck to my Grocer, and it is always good.

                                        And of course I am handling both Greek and NY manufactured yogurt in the same way.

                                        That leads me to guess that is the Cows, the Cows diet, the tanks used to transport the milk, or just plain faulty quality control with culture mixing and temperature control in the manufacturing process, and/or storage at the plant, and/or transport to the distributor.

                                        The Fage people have to know about the big batch of grainy yogurt they sent out, and the cause of that is manufacturing error based on a trade expert interview I found. So many people complained about that at the same time. Who tested for quality that batch? They had to either KNOW it was bad when it went out, or they didn't catch it. I'm not sure which is worse.

                                        The bad tasting yogurt may only be a batch here and there. I seem to be getting the "haha" batches fairly consistently, though.

                                    2. I ate a Fage with honey for lunch yesterday (purchased at TJ), made in NY, and the honey had slightly crystallized--very small grains in it. The yogurt was OK tasting but had a bumpy surface texture, like it had started to ferment, but it wasn't really sour.

                                      I've also noticed whey on the top of the lower fat stuff.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: coney with everything

                                        I have just written to Fage USA to ask if it is still possible to buy imported Fage Greek yogurt. Also, I agree that the honey in the NY-made yogurt is terrible, as are the fruit varieties. One of the real joys was the simplicity and lack of "sugariness" of the original Greek-made Fage fruit-on-the-side varieties.

                                        I think what happened was that the US yogurt mfrs must have gotten shocked by the success of he orig imported Fage yogurt, and then came out with copy-cat "Greek" yogurts. They then must have strong-armed Fage into starting the manufacture yogurt in NY State, the result is the NY Fage is not as good as the imported Fage was, which will result in a sales decline for the Fage. The US yogurt mfrs, who are enormously powerful as they are usually part of a larger food-conglomerate, would love to see Fage die off, so then we will all have to unfortunately revert to the usual sugary and really very artificial US-made yogurt.

                                        I really think we should all send letters to the Greek Fage owner (as someone suggested in an earlier post) so that he knows that the product now being sold in the US as Fage yogurt is definitely not up to the high quality standards Fage adheres to in its Greek products. Fage may wish to discontinue production at the NY plant until the problem is resolved, or give up and trying to produce quality yogurt in NY State if the problem is something to do with the milk itself.

                                        1. re: Helen Chirivas

                                          After being dissapointed so many times with the Fage, I have switched to Oikos and it is great..... creamy, thick and great.

                                          1. re: taboo

                                            Do you still feel the same about the Oikos? I had loved the honey flavor before it went AWOL and since its return, it tastes just like the Trader Joe's version which is okay, but not great. Maybe it's due to the bigger containers (higher yogurt to honey ratio?), but I think the mouthfeel is different, too. That is, I'm wondering if there are additives in there now that weren't there previously (sort of a chalky feel). : (

                                      2. I eat the 0 percent almost every day (or I have), and yes, it's different and not as good. My experience is the same as the people who say it's smoother (not as fluffy) and sourer. Really, it's now so similar to "regular" yogurt that there's no reason to go to the store specifically to buy it and to pay a premium. I guess I'll be switching back to straining a good-quality "American" yogurt, or experiment with making my own.

                                        I don't believe it's some kind of evil corporate conspiracy to pass off an inferior product: I can't believe Fage *wants* to make an inferior product (and piss off its passionately loyal customers). I agree the best explanation is that the American milk they're buying is different from milk in Greece. U.S. sourced milk is probably from a different breed of cow that those commonly raised in Greece and/or Greek cows are fed differently than American cows. Different breeds of cows produce slightly different milk, as do different kinds of feed, and in a concentrated product like strained yogurt, even a small difference can be noticeable.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          Slightly more than a year later, and thought I'd give it another try. The batch I bought this week was much better than last year, almost as good as I remember the old Fage being. Plus, it was slightly cheaper at the same store.

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            I started buying it again too. Only $1.99 at Whole Foods and it taste great

                                            1. re: taboo

                                              Don't know where you are but i just tried it again after a long while and was so disappointed I had to come on here to rant. I ate the nonfat variety for years with my own fruit or cereal and loved it but now I can't stomach it. Can't cover up the off flavor with any amount of fruit or sugar. Don't find the 2% or full fat versions as offensive.

                                        2. just checked my containers and yes - they are manufactured in NY...I don't care where it's made as long as it doesn't turn into that gelatinous goop that they call yogurt by US standards. I do love the fact that it's not crossing the Med Sea/Atlantic Ocean then trucked to NC.

                                          I do agree that there is a how do you say..tangyier?!? bite than what I have experienced overseas but still far better than any US brand.

                                          Just out of curiosity - what is the carbon effect of transporting all of that yogurt from Greece to the US?

                                          I'm going to my local Taverna for dinner tomorrow night (yes, I'm lucky enough to have one!) and will try to get the low down from the owner.

                                          I will post back

                                          1. Fage from Greece - How did you get the case from Greece. I am still so disappointed by the NY plant and can't find anything that is as good as Fage from Greece

                                            1. Good news on finding real Greek yogurt....check with your local Taverna if you have one nearby. Turns out that the Taverna I frequent will sell fresh, homemade Greek style yogurt if you ask

                                              Even if they don't make it there, I'll bet they source it from a "traditional" distributor and can get you connected

                                              Happy eating!

                                              1. I finally tried the American Fage after reading all these posts. I thought the taste and texture were a bit different--a little gloopier, a little tangier. But the product is still way better than a cup of ordinary supermarket plain yogurt. I got it on sale for 99 cents, and I think that will be my price point. No more $1.79 if they don't have to import.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Angela Roberta

                                                  Wow. My local Farm Fresh sell it for $2.49. The cheapest I've seen it is $1.89 at Target.

                                                2. You know I've heard *so* much about Fage on this website, I figured this must be an amazing product to explain all the hype. I looked, but it was never in my regular grocery store (Publix.) Then a couple of weeks ago I visited a Whole Foods in another town, and lo and behold, there in the dairy section lay the venerated yogurt-of-the-Greek-gods. But it came at a steep price for a relatively small volume. When I got it home and ripped off the lid, I was really disappointed to find the product was too tart and watery. I will continue to buy Cabot Greek Style, which I think is much tastier and far cheaper. Now it seems I may have not tried the real thing and I may never.

                                                  1. I just googled "fage aftertaste" and found this post. I have been eating this yogurt and loving it for years but the last two containers I've had I've thrown away after two bites. The first one I thought went bad even though it's a month away from the sell by date but this one that I just bought tastes the same - too sour and then there is this strange awful aftertaste. I checked and sure enough "made in the usa". i am so sad. i won't be buying again. the aftertaste is horribly disgusting and I used to eat this plain with a little cereal all the time but this new stuff even with fruit compote and extra sugar is inedible.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: autumnlind

                                                      I've tried off and on over the past couple of years - most recently a few weeks ago. Still can't get over what I'm consistently finding is an overly sour taste and, forgive me, vomit-like aftertaste. Such a disappointment. I used to eat both the 0% and 2% all the time. Now, the 0% is unrecognizable and the 2% has those persistently odd, bad, sad flavors to me.

                                                      1. re: braisinhussy

                                                        i felt the same way when they started producing it in the States, so i gave up. i just recently gave it another try a couple of weeks ago, and it was much better - bummer that you're still getting sub-par product. have you tried Trader Joe's house brand Greek yogurt? that's what i switched to from Fage. it's terrific, and much less expensive.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          I think the full fat version is the best tasting of the bunch. I don't like the texture issues in the reduced fat versions. I'd rather eat less than eat worse. ;-)

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            We also gave it up because of the quality control issues when they switched production over to the US, and then tried it again a few weeks ago. It's not quite what it was during the Greek glory days, but they seem to have removed the weird aftertaste from the batches we've gotten since.

                                                            1. re: beachmouse

                                                              I just finished a container as I have this yogurt every morning with berries and cereal. The taste is back to normal and very smooth.