4 Reasons Why Yogurt Is Pudding (Slideshow)


Pepsico has now entered the yogurt wars. Supermarket shelves are already chock-full of plastic cups of yogurt, tubes of “Go-Gurt” and boxes of frozen pops and push-ups. We’ve seen “French” yogurt (Yoplait) and now “Greek” yogurt (Fage, Chobani). Pepsico’s new offering in the US’s $7 billion yogurt market is “German” yogurt, thanks to a joint partnership with Theo Müller, a private German food company. The two companies have invested $206 million in a plant in Batavia, New York, to produce five billion cups of yogurt a year.

The appeal of Pepsico’s new yogurt is to “fill the gap” between mainstream offerings (think Dannon, Colombo) and the “niche” that the Greek yogurts occupy. But, aside from its being sold in square rather than round containers, a New York Times‘ description of the Müller yogurt sounds quite similar to yogurt in my supermarket’s dairy case and also suggests why, these days, yogurt is more and more like pudding.

Here are four reasons that yogurt, which Pepsico is promoting with a “fun for you, better for you, good for you” strategy, seems in danger of becoming something more like white (or pink or blue or orange) “slime.”


Photo by theimpulsivebuy

onken "limited edition" vanilla chocolate yogurt

1. Candy

The new Pepsico-Müller yogurt will contain “supplements” including caramelized almonds and tiny chocolate-covered crunch balls. Other brands contain a veritable Halloween trick-or-treat’s bags worth of brand-name candies.

Photo by osde8info via Flickr

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

Yogurt me!

See the ingredients for these products from Dannon (pdf) and Yoplait.

Compare what Stonyfield Farm and the Saint Benoit Creamery make.

Photo by joyosity via Flickr

3. Thickeners, Stabilizers and Preservatives Galore

muller "limited edition" yogurt

Potassium sorbate, Red 40, food starch-modified, milk protein concentrate,”natural flavors,” tricalcium phosphate, natural and artificial flavor, potassium sorbate, red #40, blue #1aspartame, acesulfame k, sucralose.

Photo by osde8info via Flickr

4. It Comes in a Tube

Newly awake and armed with yogurt

Coolisions; Go-Gurt (which comes in a cotton candy flavor).

Grist’s Sarah Henry quotes Michael Pollan in an NPR interview about his book Food Rules:

Imagine your grandmother or your great-grandmother picking up this tube, holding it up to the light, trying to figure out how to administer it to her body — if indeed it is something that goes in your body — and then imagine her reading the ingredients. Yogurt is a very simple food. It’s milk inoculated with a bacterial culture. But [Yoplait's] Go-Gurt has dozens of ingredients.

My grandmothers and great-grandmothers were all born in southern China where dairy products were definitely not part of their diet. I’m sure that, aside from confusion about what in the world yogurt is, they would have found today’s products simply too sweet and more what you ‘d eat for desert.

Should you want to try making your own yogurt, Grist’s Henry has some helpful links on a post with the highly accurate title of Not your grandmother’s yogurt.


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Photo by abbamouse via Flickr


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Roopak Vaidya
Roopak Vaidya2 years ago

Shrikhand is a traditional Indian sweet dish made from dahi (yoghurt).
Check out this interesting information on Wikipedia and another site:
Avoid adding spices like cardamom and nutmeg if you don't like their taste.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

Well, according to EU legistlation, a carrot is a fruit...

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.2 years ago

Yogurt is pudding is pudding is pudding (?!)...

federico bortoletto


ii q.
g d c.3 years ago


Alicia N.
Alicia N.3 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

Thanks for the post

Betsy M.
Betsy M.3 years ago

When you don't have time to read labels, use the shortcut: more than 3 ingredients is probably junk. You don't have to read all the ingredientsl. If there is more than milk, sugar, berries, grab another brand.

Virginia B.
Virginia B.3 years ago

What no one here has noted is that all of the commercial, well-known brands, specifically Dannon* and Yoplait, are simply "cutting corners". By placing all of those unnecessary additives like cornstarch, carageenen (a nice "cover word" for a type of seaweed product) and gelatine, they are saving money by using cheaper ingredients! The simplest way to achieve thick, creamy yogurt is to strain it! That's really all that "Greek yogurt" is (except that it may contain a different variety of "starter" bacilium)
*In all fairness, I must note that Dannon does produce a lovely, mild, plain (not low fat!) yogurt in a large tub -- frankly as good-tasting as any of the most expensive "Greek" brands. If you like it thick, just srtain it yourself.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

Same thing happened to granola, turning into junk food as bars. Same thing happened to Tom's of Maine toothpaste when Colgate took over. Don't trust corporations to keep you healthy.