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Aug 14, 2012 02:33 PM

Warning - General Mills bought Liberté yogurt, it's now Yoplait crap for premium price!

I live a frugal life, I don't have a tricked out kitchen, travel to Europe or even eat out at expensive restaurants. But I am fortunate enough to be able to afford small pleasures in life such as ponying up $1.19 versus 99 cents for a container of premium Liberté Yogurt to enjoy as my go-to lunch on workdays.

Didn't think too much of it (should have!) when the Liberté yogurt at my local Whole Paycheck had gone up to $1.29 and had new cheapo packaging. It was still 6 oz, it was Friday and I was tired after a long day at work.

So today I grab a strawberry of the batch I bought on Friday and to my horror when I ripped open the container at lunch, I saw right way it had been reformulated and was no longer a product of Quebec, Canada but Denver, CO. One mouthful and I had an awful taste of pectin and CHERRY. Yes to add insult to injury, there wasn't even strawberries in my strawberry yogurt. I couldn't even finish the container, it was nasty, nasty stuff.

A quick google confirmed my worst fears, General Mills bought out the Canadian manufacturer in the hopes of propping up their failing yoplait brand and is now manufacturing my beloved Liberté at their US yoplait plant.

Granted a company can do whatever the heck they want to but geez, did General Mills really think we're such morons as to be taken in by a venerable brand name now hiding cheapo yogurt? I cannot fathom why they felt this would be profitable move. Did they learn nothing from the New Coke Debacle?

Forgive me this rant, I know that there's far more serious issues in the world but we as consumers need to take a stand on crap maneuvers like this.

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  1. It appears that Yoplait bought Liberte in December 2010 and General Mills bought Yoplait in May 2011, so technically, Liberte was a Yoplait product before it was a General Mills product.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Funny, I thought the texture of my Liberte goat yogurt was different lately. This is most disappointing. I will be looking for something made in Canada to replace my Liberte goat yogurt, kefir and cow's yogurt.

      1. re: 1sweetpea

        I hope not! I haven't noticed a change.

    2. Liberte yogurt has many options. I was not aware of the above. I buy the greek yogurt and love the lemon. I have not noticed a change to this product. As well if you like Liberte yogurt, Dannone's greek yogurt is very good as well.
      I hope the Liberte company is not changing formulas, I started to purchase when they first came out and they have been innovators in the industry. Perhaps that might be the reason for the purchase.

      1. Crap...the store I normally buy Liberte at has been out of stock for a while....bought a couple at WF the other day and noticed the different packaging but have yet to try one

        Attention, cost cutting MBAs at General Mills: People who buy this yogurt are willing to spend more for good product. Commodity yogurt is everywhere...stick to the niche. Be BMW, not Hyundai.

        1. I eat yogurt from time to time and by no means an aficionado. Why is Yoplait crap? Also, I know I have to buy some and try it myself but what appears to be the big deal with Greek yogurt that seems all of the sudden to be on TV commercials every five seconds.

          14 Replies
          1. re: RC51Mike

            Yoplpait is more like a artificial, sweet, plasticy fruit pudding than real yogurt.

            I miss the Dannon of decades ago when it was very tart and tangy, and had flavor and a firm texture.

            Like Fage when it first came out, was made in Greece and from sheeps milk.

            1. re: JMF

              So, more of an issue of added ingredients, mouth feel and consistency? I sensed it might be whether or not some of these are real yogurt or not. I know, I have labels to read...

              1. re: RC51Mike

                Greek yogurt is drained of the liquid so it is much firmer/thicker. More like texture of fresh sour cream. Take some regular Dannon plain. Put a coffee filter in a funnel, put the funnel in a coffee mug, and pour in the yogurt and cover with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge overnight. So much better, richer.

            2. re: RC51Mike

              I wondered the same thing until I tried the low fat liberte greek fruit yogurts at an attempt at dieting and after that I tried the regular. I now prefer the greek yogurt. In any case Liberte does not only make greek yogurt, but ,luscious, higher fat yogurt than other brands. It is almost like eating cream. As well the flavours are great, lemon, mocha are so nice. As said I hope they do not change the formulas...

              1. re: Ruthie789

                Their Facebook page has a long explanation about how they've changed their dairy sourcing since moving production to the US and that they're responding to complaints about the difference in the texture/flavor. Time will tell.

                1. re: ferret

                  Ferret, it's more than sourcing though the milk and cultures do make a huge difference in how a yogurt tastes. They put in pectin, way too much sugar and less real fruit in the yogurt I had sampled.

                  I don't do facebook but the blog on General Mills' website had a PR person claiming over and over again that hadn't reformulated the yogurt when clearly their labels show they have and folks complaining on their blog having been told by customer service reps on their toll free lines that they had reformulated the yogurt.

                  Time will tell if they really really understand that lying to customers is NOT effective PR and marketing to roll out increased production. It's the 21st century, consumers have the internet, if you lie, we'll find out in short order and just get mad.

                2. re: Ruthie789

                  I buy the Liberté goat's milk yoghourt and it seems just as good as it always was. And it is made here in Québec.

                  I don't eat flavoured yoghourt.

                  1. re: lagatta

                    Yoplait only bought the U.S. Liberte brand. That's why the taste hasn't changed in Canada. I used to love it because it was made in Canada with Vermont milk. Now it tastes like every other namby-pamby US yogurt. I haven't been able to find the Liberte goat's milk yogurt since the switch.

                    1. re: VermontPenwoman

                      That's not quite right. Yoplait bought all of Liberté Natural Foods operations both north and south of the border.


                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        Thanks, SnackHappy. I might have misunderstood the acquisition, because the product in Quebec still tastes pretty good. I do know that they're no longer selling the Quebec-made product here in the Northeast. More's the pity.

                        1. re: VermontPenwoman

                          Apart from a short period a few years ago when they stopped using real milk to make their yogourt, the product never really changed in the 20 some years I've been buying it.

                          It's a shame the US product is no longer up to par. Hopefully, they'll be smart enough to fix it before they hurt the brand.

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            I'm just thankful Quebec is a mere 40 minutes away (and Montreal only an hour and a half): too far for weekly shopping, but close enough for a fun day trip.

                3. re: RC51Mike

                  JMF stated accurately how I feel about Yoplait, I hope I didn't insult you, I think all of us probably have some favorite food we know is crap but love anyway.

                  There are lots and lots of mass marketed Greek yogurt pretenders that are the triumph of marketing over quality --John Stamos is still quite good looking, but I buy my yogurt on taste.

                  Side by side taste tests of high quality yogurt and corn syrup gelatin crap will really demonstrate what we're talking about.

                  1. re: HokieAnnie

                    HokieAnnie, have you tried the Danone keylime greek yogurt? I was buying this before John Stamos started doing their advertising, he has not influence on me. It`s a great flavour.

                4. This yummy Liberte I just ate is made in Canada, but it does have some of the crappy ingredients you mentioned, nonetheless. This stuff is far from the goodness of homemade yogurt or even authentic Greek or Indian yogurt, but it's still better than the pudding, which I think is the thing that many Americans are trying to replace. It's still pretty good, as store-bought yogurts go. Not nearly as sweet and slippery as Yoplait, at least in my opinion.