All Greek Yogurt is not Created Equal

Get ready for an absolutely unscientific comparison of single serve Greek yogurt based solely on my taste buds and the labels on the containers. This could get really boring and if you don’t care a whit about yogurt, Greek or otherwise, you may as well wait till the next post. Curt will probably be doing something yummy.

The yogurts I chose, five in all, were what I could get in my local groceries. One of them, Fage, I purchased at Walmart. I say this as an apology and as a confession because I never, ever shop at Walmart. I feel uncomfortable just going through the door but my Mom, who is on a limited budget, shops at Walmart. And I, dutiful daughter, go with her every four months or so, to help carry items she stocks up on that are way too heavy for her to lug to the car and then to her apartment. Things like kitty litter, laundry soap, pet food, jugs of juice, etc. Two weeks ago when I was there with her I discovered Walmart had the single serving Fage Greek yogurt. My grocery only carries the plain flavor in the large container.  So for the sake of science, I contributed to Walmart profits that week. I’m sorry. But confession is good for the soul.

So, I have four national brands and one local grocery brand. All have fruit on the bottom except Fage which has the fruit in a side-cup. All are zero fat. The difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt is how it is made. But that difference affects the texture, the flavor and the price. Basically Greek yogurt is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose and sugar. Both regular and Greek are healthy for you, but Greek yogurt will give you twice the protein and roughly half the carbs. My testing was just putting the Greeks up against each other. Here’s the first and only, boring yet informative, chart for your consideration comparing calories, sodium and sugar. The serving sizes unfortunately were not the same but at least they were divided into two amounts which are relatively close.

Product Calories Sodium Sugar
 Chobani  (170g)  140  65g  19g
 Oikos      (170g)  130  50g  20g
 Roundy’s (170g)  150  80g  23g
 Yoplait     (150g)  160  100g  20g
 Fage        (150g)  120  50g  16g
 Fage-plain (150g)   86  56g   6g

Overall they are pretty close except for Yoplait whose calories and sodium stand out even though its one of the smaller serving sizes. The Fage in the last row is the plain without any fruit. If you really want to lower your sugar and calories go with this one and just add a tablespoon of jam. For instance, this jam from Mudd Creek.

Ingredients: peaches, melons, red grapes, pectin (no sugar added)

Now on to the flavor and texture of our Greeks. Remember this is from my little ole taste buds so you will probably have completely different results. Let’s go best to worst.

left: Dannon Oikos, right: Roundy's-local grocery brand

For flavor, the Oikos (Dannon) and the local brand, Roundy’s, were probably the best. Both were creamy, had a mild tang unlike regular yogurt which I consider very tangy. Oikos was a little thicker but not gelatin-like thick. Going back to the chart, Oikos comes out ahead because of the calorie count and the sodium. Fruit flavors for both are what you’d expect: strawberry, blueberry, peach, black cherry, etc.

top row: Fage, bottom row: Chobani

Next, Fage edges out Chobani in the taste category. Both had a great creamy texture but were up a notch in the tang department from the top two. This of course is where personal preference comes into play. Fage wins in the calorie/sodium/sugar areas but Chobani wins in the available fruit flavors. They have thirteen compared to Fage’s ten. Flavors that include pineapple, passion fruit, apple cinnamon, blood orange and pomegranate. Oh, and the Chobani was as white as the Fage, my camera skills failed me on this shot.

Yoplait

Yoplait is at the bottom and it wasn’t necessarily bad, it just tasted pretty much the same as the regular yogurt. Much more tangy and the texture was more in the gelatin range rather than creamy.  Considering that you are paying about twice for Greek than you would pay for regular Yoplait, I would rank this one last.

So there you have it. The unofficial match-up of the Greek yogurts. It’s been fun even if I had to (shudder) purchase from Walmart along the way.

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10 thoughts on “All Greek Yogurt is not Created Equal

  1. Good article! I love Walmarts brand of Greek Vanilla Yogurt better then all of the ones you tested. I don’t love Walmart either but they do have an excellent Greek yogurt selection compared to grocery stores. I decided to try their brand of Vanilla Greek Yogurt in the large 32 oz container for $3.98 compared to Chobani which is almost 6 dollars for that size. I was blown away at how good it was. I have not tried Yoplait yet and thanks to your research I won’t bother. I tried Cabots Greek and I did not care for the consistancy which was watery. I like to cut up apples or grapes and make my own fruited yogurt and I save a lot by using the Walmart brand.

    • I don’t go to Walmart unless I have to and next week I have to take my Mom there for her semi-annual stock up of large items. I’ll check out their yogurt. I don’t know what I’ll do if I get hooked. 🙂

  2. I was a huge fan of Fage for awhile, with an occasional foray into Chobani territory. My husband buys Turkish yogurt (Yoruk is is favorite brand), which can’t be found at the supermarket. It does blow everything else away. And cooking with it is a dream.

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