According to NPD Group’s National Eating Trends market research study, more than 28% of Americans consume yogurt at least once every two weeks. This continued fascination with yogurt by consumers is causing companies to launch more new products. Specifically, in 2010, 41 new Greek yogurt products were launched (Mintel, GNPD 2011) and more are on the way – in and out of the grocery store. For example, Starbucks launched its own version of a Greek Yogurt Honey Parfait which is made with reduced-fat Greek yogurt and topped with a mix of coconut-almond macaroon granola, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. At least three companies now offer a frozen Greek yogurt.
So, what is Greek yogurt and how is it different from traditional yogurt?
Greek yogurt does not have a standard of identity or standard manufacturing procedure. Many Greek yogurt manufacturers create their products by concentrating the milk prior to making the yogurt and then strain or separate the cultured yogurt from the liquid whey by some form of physical separation (cheesecloth or filter systems). Other brands add protein powders or gums/stabilizers to create the thicker and creamier textures that are typical of Greek yogurt products. Many Greek yogurts have twice the protein of traditional yogurts, but check the nutrition label because all yogurts are not created equal. In general, Greek yogurt tends to be thicker in texture, sometimes has a higher protein content and usually is more tart than sweet. So, depending on what type of flavor you like, you may want to give it a try.
The good news is that yogurt continues to provide an array of flavorful and textural experiences to enjoy while consuming the nutrition dairy delivers. What flavor or brand of Greek yogurt is your favorite?