Americans still can't get enough Greek yogurt.
According to the food market research firm Packaged Facts, Greek yogurt commands a whopping 50 percent share of the yogurt market in the U.S.
Consumers-- won over by its thick, creamy texture-- are looking for new ways to enjoy it, and producers are responding with a string of new products that try to take the yogurt trend to the next level.
Brands like Chobani, Muller, and Yoplait have expanded individual yogurt cup offerings by adding new toppings that are premixed or come with a container that you can mix yourself.
And brands like Evolution Fresh, a subsidiary of Starbucks Corporation known for its fruit juices and smoothies, as well as the fast food chicken chain Chick fil A, have new products they hope will appeal to yogurt-loving customers.
I tried out each brand and several flavors to get an idea of what these new products are really about.
1. Chobani seasonal flavors
Nothing says fall like pumpkin, and Chobani has hopped on the bandwagon with its delicious fall varieties. I sampled over 10 Greek varieties from its Oats (yogurt mixed with oats), Flip (which come in portion-controlled receptacles), and Blended (fruit mixed in) lines. My personal favorites were the Key Lime Crumble, with graham crackers and white chocolate chips, the Peach Oats, with steel cut oats and peaches, and the Pumpkin Harvest Crisp, with pie crust pieces, glazed pumpkin seeds, and pecans.
Cost: $2.39 per 5.3 oz. container
2. Rickland Orchards' Greek on-the-go bites
Rickland Orchards is taking Greek yogurt out of the breakfast aisle and into the snack aisle with its new "on the go" Greek yogurt covered bites. I tried 4 different varieties including strawberry, caramel, blueberry, and almond.
What I found really delicious was their milk chocolate yogurt covered bites. I've had white yogurt colored raisins, and nuts, etc., but I don't think I've ever tried milk chocolate yogurt- not that it's a foreign concept, but it was amazing how much it tasted like pure milk chocolate.
Cost: $5.49 for 6.5 oz. bag
3. Yoplait Plenti
Yoplait introduced its Plenti line of Greek yogurt Aug, 2015. Each cup packs in oats, flax, and pumpkin seeds along with fresh fruit. I tried all 8 of the flavors they offer- Black Cherry, Blueberry, Coconut, Raspberry, Peach, Strawberry, Vanilla, and Spiced Apple. I found that the yogurt kept me fuller longer than plain yogurt and the textures alternate between chewy, crunchy and smooth while eating, which kept me interested and wanting more. I was drawn to the fruity flavors first, but I surprised myself by really enjoying the coconut and vanilla flavors as well.
Cost- $1.59 per 5.5 oz. container
4. Muller Greek Corner
If you're looking for something to satisfy a sweet tooth, you may want to sampled Muller's Chocolate Coconut Crunch and Banana Nut Clusters. These are a new addition to their "Greek Corner" line, now expanding to include a total of 6 unique flavors- Blackberry & Raspberry, Strawberry, Banana Nut Clusters, Caramelized Almonds, Blueberry, and Chocolate Coconut Crunch. I ate the two new flavors side by side the first time around, and preferred the Banana over the Coconut on my first impression. The banana flavor was extremely creamy and the flavor was not overwhelming. I decided to give the coconut another chance and concluded it was extremely sweet.
Disclaimer- This yogurt is labeled as "Greek Style" yogurt, and not an authentic Greek Yogurt. It does though have additives like protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, modified food starch, and kosher gelatin which make it high in protein and thick like Greek yogurt.
Cost- Can range from $1.25 to $2.00 per 5.29 oz. container
5. Evolution Fresh Greek nonfat yogurt
Evolution Fresh teamed up with Dannon to create this delicious blend of Greek yogurt and fresh fruit. They have four flavors, Black Cherry, Blueberry, Pineapple Passion Fruit, and Raspberry Blackberry. Each one has a distinct flavor. My favorite was the Black Cherry because the tartness in the fruit pairs nicely with the yogurt. All flavors can be found at your local grocery store.
Cost: Average price of $1.69 per 5.3 oz. container
6. Chick-fil-A's Greek yogurt parfait
Chick-fil-A recently introduced its new Greek yogurt parfait on Aug. 3, 2015 into its more than 1,900 restaurants nationwide. The parfait has half the sugar and twice the protein of the previous non-Greek yogurt parfait it sold, and is made from all-natural ingredients. The 110 calorie-per-serving Greek Yogurt Parfait is served with fresh strawberries and blueberries and is also topped with a choice of Chick-fil-A "Harvest Nut Granola", with oats and nuts, or "Chocolate Cookie Crumbs" made from milk chocolate cookies-for those wanting to add a touch of indulgence. Of course- I went for the indulgence. Their Greek yogurt is extremely creamy and flavorful, and the fruit tastes freshly picked and cut. The parfait is available on its all-day menu.
Cost: $2.39 per 5 oz. serving