I signed up for Klout a few years ago, and occasionally I’ve gotten some cool “perks” from them, including a Weather Channel umbrella with clouds on the inside. A few weeks ago, I received a Perk from Yoplait. They were promoting their new blueberry greek yogurt, and wanted people to try it head-to-head vs Chobani’s version of the same flavor. Last weekend, my mom was in town. Since she eats yogurt just as much as I do, I figured she’d be a good person to do the taste test with me.
Yoplait sent me a $4.00 Mastercard and explicit instructions on what yogurt to purchase. Here were the contenders:
First, let’s explore the differences on their labels:
Serving Size: Both yogurts have the same serving size—5.3 ounces. Which seems strange to me, because a standard serving of yogurt is 6 ounces. Must make for a prettier package.
Fat: Both yogurts are fat-free, although I didn’t notice that about the Yoplait yogurt until I looked at the nutrition label. There’s a tiny “0%” on the container to the right of the Yoplait logo, but it’s so far to the side that you wouldn’t notice it on a store shelf. So that was a pleasant surprise.
Calories: Chobani has 130 calories; Yoplait has 140 calories.
Protein: Even with fewer calories, Chobani has more protein, packing in 12 grams compared to Yoplait’s 11.
Sugar: Chobani has 15 grams of sugar, while Yoplait has 18. Yogurt contains some natural sugars, but for comparison, my fat free plain yogurt has 3.3 grams of sugar in 5.3 ounces. So, Yoplait has about 15 grams of added sugar, and Chobani has 12. A teaspoon of granulated sugar weighs 4 grams. So, both of these choices provide 3-4 teaspoons of added sugar in a relatively small container. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005) say that adults should not eat more than 32 grams of sugar per day. The American Heart Association advises that women should limit sugar intake to 20 grams per day.
Weight Watchers Point Plus: For those of you following Weight Watchers, each of these brands is 3 PointsPlus.
So, labeling differences aside, it’s time for the Tasteoff!
Yoplait really put some time into this promotion. In addition to the $4.00 Mastercard, they sent me this taste test box. Since I set it up, I knew which yogurt was which, but my Mom didn’t. It was a blind taste test for her.
Before we even got to tasting, there were differences in preparation. When I buy a name-brand flavored Greek yogurt (which actually doesn’t happen often in our house), I buy Chobani. We like it a lot, but recently switched to a generic brand for my husband’s daily strawberry yogurt fix. Both that generic brand and Chobani are “fruit on the bottom” preparations. After opening, you have to stir the yogurt to mix the flavor into it. This isn’t hard, but if you’re a klutz like me, it can be a little messy. The Yoplait yogurt was already mixed, which was nice.
There was also a difference in the consistency of the fruit flavor. Chobani’s blueberry flavor is a puree of blueberries, evaporated cane juice, pectin, locust bean gum, and “natural flavor.” Being a puree, it doesn’t have much of a texture. Yoplait’s blueberry flavor is a mixture of blueberries, sugar, water, modified corn starch, malic acid, vitamin A acetate, and vitamin D3. While it has more ingredients, it does include whole or only partially macerated blueberries.
So, on to taste. Chobani was what I was used to. A smooth, slightly tart, blueberry flavor. Yoplait’s was definitely different. It was creamier, and suddenly made the “slightly tart” flavor of Chobani taste more like an off flavor. The mouth feel was much better, and I enjoyed actually being able to chew on the blueberries. Both my mom and I very much preferred the Yoplait, and I bet she’ll be buying it in the future.
But I won’t, unless my husband wants it. A few months ago, I started flavoring my own plain nonfat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or homemade preserves. The fresh fruit version resulted in no added sugar, and the homemade preserves have about half the sugar of the flavoring used in commercially flavored yogurts. I started doing this because it was an easier option on the Weight Watchers Simple Start program (I didn’t have to count the points for fat-free yogurt), and I continued because it just seemed like a more natural option. If you haven’t tried flavoring your own yogurt, give it a try. If you’re able to do so with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, or with plain fresh fruit, and still enjoy the taste, it’s a better overall option for your health. It’s also a little cheaper than buying the little containers. I prepare a few days worth of 4-ounce servings at at a type and store them in 1-cup pyrex containers in the fridge.
Do you have strong opinions on how you eat your yogurt, or what brand you like? Share them in the comments!
Disclosure: I was provided free yogurt for this taste testing. I was not required to write this post, and I received no additional compensation for writing it.