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The yogurt section at the supermarket is freaking me out!

Ok, so I went to my local Harris-Teeter last night to stock up on yogurts for the week. It's been a couple of weeks since I've been there, but it looks like there are a half-dozen brands that I had never seen before.

Not just various Greek yogurts, but icelandic, swiss, and some other countries as well. Plus variations on the old standbys -- Dannon, Stonyfield, etc. There's even an H-T "greek" style yogurt now.

I guess this is a good trend, but it seems to have happened so quickly.

So I am, for now, trying them based on two criteria -- price and protein content.

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  1. When I finally tried Fage (after reading so much praise here) I never looked back. Be it 0% or 2% I'm hooked. Don't even say Chobani to me.

    4 Replies
    1. re: laliz

      +1...love it, lick the container clean. I also like Emmi Swiss yogurt for a different taste/texture, it has a nice "tanginess".

      1. re: BeeZee

        I tried Emmi (love to try them all) but could really taste the cornstarch in there.

      2. re: laliz

        I usually go for the Fage, but every once in a while I'll be craving the Publix Latino yogurts and will rotate among their spicy pineapple, guava pastry, and churro flavors.

      3. Love the title of this thread...

        What freaks me out in the yogurt section are the myriad brands of little plastic vials containing an ounce or two of liquid yogurt. Surely these must be for stomach/intestine health issues and not for use as a breakfast foodstuff or beverage (just too small for that).

        Do these micro containers of bacterial yogurt medicine 'make you go' or keep you from 'going' too much? Alot of them seem to have european names, so does this mean that the great peoples of Europe are on the cutting edge of gastrointestinal equilibrium?

        I live in Los Angeles, and a certain scream-queen actress from the 1980s hawks some of this stuff on TV commercials, with the cheery demeanor that only regular bowel movements can inspire. Yet, when I found her standing behind me in the check-out lane at the local boutique grocery store, she was more than a few bacteria short of kind and decent.

        So, do these little liquid yogurt 'shots' do anything that a nice bowl of greek yogurt wouldn't also accomplish??

        6 Replies
        1. re: silence9

          They're supposed to be a good source of probiotics but most of them have so much sugar in them they're worthless.

          1. re: silence9

            From what I've heard, a popular weight loss diet overseas is Activia and cigarettes. I don't like anything that "makes you go".

            1. re: coll

              Anything one eats, makes one "go", in a sense. :-)

              1. re: carolinadawg

                You've never met my friend who ate a whole bowl of Queso dip made with a microwaved block of Velveeta... She didn't "go" for days!

                Or were you just talking about real food? lol

              2. re: silence9

                There's a couple of different kinds --

                Activia (both the shots and the regular yogurts) have specific cultures that are designed to boost your body's ability to process food, making you more regular over time (about a week, IIRC from their promotional literature). It isn't a laxative, and it doesn't make you go -- it makes it easier for your body to go when you need to, sidestepping constipation more easily.

                Danactive (Actimel in Europe), on the other hand, is a probiotic that (according to the company) introduces more cultures to your digestive system, thus enhancing both your digestive system AND your immune system. It is true that the digestive system is an important part of our immune system...but I haven't really done a lot of reading to find any independent studies. The longevity of the product in European markets -- and now coming up to a decade or so in the US -- would lead me to believe that the research holds up, though.

                I have a friend in the US who abhors yogurt, but about a year ago had a nasty gastro flu that basically eliminated her ability to digest much of anything. She started drinking the Danactive because she could get through two swallows of something as liquid as milk, when she cannot sit down and eat a tub of yogurt. Seemed to work - she was feeling better within a few days, and back to normal in a couple of weeks. The doctor who recommended yogurt told her that her body would eventually recuperate the intestinal flora on its own, but that the yogurt (and the Danactive) would jumpstart the progress, shortening her recovery time.

              3. One thing I know for sure. Now that I've tasted what yogurt the Greeks (and others) have been enjoying all my life, while companies like Dannon churned out complete and utter sh** for American consumers, even if they (Dannon et al) made a true "Greek style" yogurt for 1/10 of the price, I'd never buy it, just on principal. I will never support those standard brands that cornered the market in the U.S. for decades and gave us pure crap as our only option in many stores across the nation. Ever. I hope they are wiped off the yogurt map completely by all this competition you speak of. Good riddance. Are you reading this, Dannon CEOs? I hope so.

                What was the question again?

                3 Replies
                  1. re: khh1138

                    Agreed. Especially if said company has a European parent who should know better.

                  2. re: staughton

                    gah. Yes.

                    When we went back to the States for a visit, I bought yogurt to eat at my mom's house. My son took one bite, threw the tub in the trash and said "Mom, if we ever move back to the States, you're gonna have to buy a yogurt maker, 'cause this stuff is crap."

                    I couldn't really yell at him, because I did the same thing when I tried it a few minutes later.

                    Sugar and gelatin and fruit flavors. Yech.

                  3. Shouldn't you also be looking to see if they have live cultures? Most don't, if I understand the labels, which I may not.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mbfant

                      I check that it's just milk and cultures, if I want fruit I add my own.

                      Another new addition to the yogurt section in my neck of the woods is Russian keffir, it's a nice change and has even more of the good stuff. Tastes sort of like liquid Junket.

                    2. Have you seen the ice cream section?

                      It makes it look like the yogurt industry is a monopoly.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        LOL yes, and fortunately the ice-cream fanatic of my two kids is a vanilla purist. Makes things simpler -- I just look at which among the Breyer's, Blue Bell, or even the Harris-Teeter premium brand vanilla is on special. Easy peasy.

                        However, I will note that Breyer's has at least five different types of vanilla ice cream now. Fortunately my kid's palate is not fine-tuned enough yet to request a specific one. But he is getting more demanding on the yogurts. He's sort of a milk products lover. 8<D

                      2. My Middle Eastern roots cry out for whole milk plain yogurt. It's getting harder to find.
                        Stonyfield makes it but fewer stores are stocking it. It's healthy, has some fat and tastes great!!! I guess everyone wants to be "skinny!"
                        The Greek stuff just does not taste the same.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Motosport

                          I do wish I could find plain Fage in something other than 0%. My store doesn't carry anything else.

                          1. re: Becca Porter

                            do you have a big box store like Target or Walmart nearby? they usually carry the Fage 2% plain.

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              I *sadly* do most of my shopping at Walmart, and my Target isn't Super. No luck.

                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                bummer. if your Walmart carries the 0%, maybe they can order the 2% for you?

                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                What you want is the Fage Total, it's whole milk.

                            2. re: Motosport

                              I wonder if "Greek" yogurt marketing would have been as successful had Fage tried to sell the country on full fat yogurt. The whole yogurt aisle at my supermarket has the air of a Doric health food section, replete with Grecian keys and columns (and no full fat yogurt). Perhaps, though, traditional yogurt may make its way into the public consciousness when this Greek fad wears off. Just this weekend I overheard an older lady at Sahadi's peer past the yogurt section and demand of a sales clerk, "Where can I find the lab-AN?"

                            3. I was at a grocery store in Dubai and saw camel milk yogurt.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: jpc8015

                                I'd have had to buy that one just to try it.

                                I've tried sheep's milk yogurt and didn't care for it (tasted like I would imagine licking a wet sheep would taste) -- but I tried it.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  I've had buffalo milk yogurt--rich and thick as pudding. You could stand your spoon up in it. Milk from water buffalo has at least twice as much fat as cow's milk. Alas, the business in Vermont that made the yogurt went belly up a few years ago.

                                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                                    was it good?

                                    (I love sheep's milk cheese, so I expected to like the yogurt...but not so much.)

                              2. My current peeve with the yogurts is: they all seem to have pectin/gelatin/other thickeners. I hate the puddingy texture. We want plain (no flavors, no thickeners) and we customize at home.

                                Dannon has one for the bigger tubs we buy for home use, but for the smaller containers we take to the office, no luck. Harris Teeter used to have an acceptable store brand, but they also changed their formula recently.

                                The Fage et al, have the combination of no pectin and no add-one, but are very expensive.

                                I am stuck on this issue.

                                1. Ha! Yeah, there's a lot of variety.

                                  If you're worried about price, why don't you try making your own. It's super easy.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Shellhead

                                    I second this. It's almost too simple to call cooking, it makes quality yogurt and you control everything about it. Want it more sour? Leave it out longer before sticking it in the fridge? Thicker? Strain it with cheesecloth and/or use some milk powder and/or add your favorite thickener. Set the sugar level from zero added to infinity. Fill it out with fresh fruit or make your favorite syrup. Even at NYC's insane government-mandated milk prices it saves a bundle, too.

                                  2. Your post makes me remember a comic movie about a Russian immigrant who (accustomed to food shortages in the Soviet Union) went into a US supermarket and was so overwhelmed by the variety he was offered that he hyperventilated and the paramedics had to be called.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Querencia

                                      Happened to my Japanese friend when he went to buy orange juice.

                                      1. re: Querencia

                                        That's funny -- I have long thought that for many immigrants, the first visit to a nice regular supermarket (Harris Teeter is my reference point) has to be an incredible culture shock. The variety of fresh foods, the bright colors, etc. We are pretty darn lucky.

                                      2. +1 on the Stonyfield- it hasn't gone weird. Unlike most, it still has the taste and texture of actual yogurt.

                                        1. So true! And I keep waiting for a menu to be posted in help the public understand the differences btwn all the choices! Don't even get me started on the line of FROZEN yogurts also taking up more of the shelf space.

                                          The Greek yogurt explosion!

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            I bought turkey hill frozen Greek yogurt. Baklava flavor.
                                            Didn't taste like Greek yogurt. Or baklava. Or anything. Tasted like vanilla. Bad vanilla.

                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                              I tried the new Ben & Jerry's frozen Greek yogurt in 3 differrent flavors and wasn't wowed by any of them--too sweet and the yogurt tang didn't take REAL.

                                              There's a health food store nearby that dispenses fresh vanilla yogurt every day--it's delicious and very tangy. My husband loves Costco's frozen yogurt and you can't beat the price if you have a sweet tooth.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                I tasted the Ben and Jerry's and didn't care for it. A lot of calories,iirc, and tasted like any other ice cream.

                                                Once in a while I get the Costco yogurt, but I'll share it with whoever I'm shopping with. Way too much for one person. The tart freshly made stuff always gives me a stomachache. Doesn't always stop me though...

                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                  Yeah, the portions @ the Costco Cafe are crazy large...not that my husband couldn't polish off an entire order of frozen yogurt while shopping...but it's just too sweet for me.

                                          2. My rules are, must be plain and must be whole milk, preferably non homogenized.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. CBS Sunday Morning ran a segment on Greek yogurts explosion today; including the new opened Chobani Greek yogurt cafe in NYC. Dairy Farmers are happy. The guy who produces Siggi's was approached by Whole Foods, now he's a happy guy.

                                              22 Replies
                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                I was laughing about this today. A friend told me that's like my kitchen...always yogurt in the fridge, always chopped up fruit, lots of toppings.

                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                  Same here...including clove honey, chopped pistachio nuts and fresh grated ginger.
                                                  Right now I have 4 lbs of Greek yogurt in the frig. Two for eating start out of the container and two for baking and dips. 2% Fage, (2) Chobani Vanilla and Chobani 0% Plain.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    I stopped buying chobani in large tubs. On two separate occasions, the yogurt was bad. We like the Kirkland brand plain Greek yougurt. There's 3 in the fridge. Husband likes trader joes individual cups of Greek yogurt, so there's about 20 containers in the fridge.

                                                    I'm just happy that my daughter prefers the plain stuff to the sugary kids yogurts.

                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                      Really? So far no troubles on my end with Chobani..but I also like the 2-fer Kirkland brand and the TJ's individual cups are pretty good. I just don't get to TJ's often enough. I can't even enjoy the "regular" yogurt anymore because now that seems too thin/watery.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        I called chobani, and they said it was probably not refrigerated correctly when it arrived at the store. They sent me lots of coupons for free yogurt, and I'll use them. But to shell out $4+ and have it go bad...I'd rather not

                                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                                          What nice customer service. I just came back from the market and bought a tub of the chocolate Chobani, 10 for $10 indiv. honey Fage, 4 strawb-banana individual Chobani's for hubby. There is already Greek in my frig, I just can't NOT buy the stuff.

                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            Have you ever bought chobani champions? They're a smaller size, made for kids, but husband likes them as a snack

                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                              No I haven't tried the Campions but I have tried the Chobani Flip.

                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                We haven't tried that yet. What flavor do you recommend?

                                                                I told the customer service rep they should really make the Champions in a squeeze tube

                                                                1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                  LOL!
                                                                  Chobani Flip Honey Low-Fat Yogurt with Banana and the Vanilla Chocolate Chip with Raspberry . Honey/banana was nice but I didn't like the texture of the chocolate bits and raspberry seeds together. The flip design however is much nicer than the Fage design.

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    I'll pick some up for my husband next time I'm shopping.

                                                                    I've never tried Fage. Is it as good as everyone says?

                                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                                      I think so but having said that it depends on what you actually like about Greek yogurt. Thickness, tang, texture? I prefer the 0% over the full fat actually. If I want full fat I'll buy sour cream. Aldi's sells Fage's small tub for $3.49. When they have it in stock I buy it there. That's a $1.00 savings. Fage and Chobani are very diff.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        Just curious. It's not kosher so I've never had it.

                                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                                            Yup... That's why im so curious!!!

                                                            2. re: HillJ

                                                              Have you tried chobani champions? They're smaller cups, made for kids, but my husband likes them as a snack. My kid likes them too..

                                                  2. re: HillJ

                                                    Just tried siggys this week. Expensive. But tasted worth it

                                                    1. re: lovetalkinfood

                                                      I happen to really love Siggi's but I really dislike the price.

                                                        1. re: lovetalkinfood

                                                          I tried the Orange-Ginger (found at Target). Expensive, very good. Would like to try many of the other flavors.

                                                          PS: There's a $1 coupon on the Siggi's website. It will be there until tomorrow. I just printed off 20. Was that wrong? Because if it was, no one told me. 8<D

                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                            ROFL! After my own yogurt lovin heart!

                                                            1. re: Bob W

                                                              Oh the Siggi's Orange-Ginger is sooooo good!!! I ate one every morning for breakfast at work a few years ago.... I need to print off some of those coupons.... $2.79 is just ridiculous

                                                        2. Maybe it's just a West Coast thing, but I rely on Straus' European-style yogurt. Plain, whole milk. If I want it flavored I'll add the flavorings myself.

                                                          I used to like Dannon, about 4 decades ago, before they were bought by General Mills, but they've gone off the cliff.

                                                          1. how is Fage pronounced? Rhymes with Page? or do you say it like you were pretending to have a fake french accent Fah-jay?

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                              The container itself says: FAGE (pronounced “fa-yeh”)