Store Brand vs. Name Brand Greek Yogurts

store brand greek yogurts






In my last post, What’s in your Greek Yogurt?, I discussed why Greek Yogurt is such an amazing food and compared brand name Greek yogurts.  Today I will be taking a closer look at the store brand or “generic” non-fat Greek yogurts, which are often on sale or cheaper.

The store brands I compared include:

      • Weis
      • Wegman’s
      • ShopRite (Wakefern Food Corp.)
      • Giant (Ahold USA)
      • Stop & Shop (Ahold USA)

When it comes to store brand versus name brand, the guidelines remain the same.  One 6-ounce portion of yogurt should contain:

? Less than 150 calories
? Ideally 0 grams of fat
? Less than 20 grams of sugar if flavored
? At least 13 grams of protein
? At least 20% of your daily value (DV) of calcium
? No rBGH (growth hormones)
? No additives like sweeteners, fillers, thickeners, preservatives, or artificial colors

Plain Greek Yogurt

plain store brand greek yogurts

Plain non-fat Greek yogurts should only contain two ingredients:

1. Cultured pasteurized skim milk (or pasteurized grade A nonfat milk)
2. Live active cultures

Weis, ShopRite, Giant and Stop & Shop plain Greek yogurts were identical to plain Chobani and Fage with the exception of being 1 gram higher in sugar.  Wegman’s plain Greek yogurt was similar in calories to Stoneyfield Organic and Dannon Oikos; however, contained 1 gram more sugar, and 2 grams less protein.  Wegman’s Plain Greek yogurt also contained 3 grams less protein than Weis and Giant, which is why it is 10 calories less.  In my opinion, I would gladly take the 10 calories for 3 extra grams of protein!

In terms of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt my dietitian stamp of approval goes to:

Store Brand: Weis, ShopRite, Giant or Stop & Shop
Name Brand: Stoneyfield Organic, Chobani or Fage 0%

Weis, ShopRite, Giant and Stop & Shop Plain Greek Yogurts contain 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 8 grams sugar, and 18 grams protein.

Wegman’s Plain Greek Yogurt contains 90 calories, 0 grams fat, 8 grams sugar, and 15 grams protein.

Flavored Greek Yogurt

Whether you purchase Store Brand or Name Brand, flavored Greek yogurts are tricky.  There is a fine line between a flavored Greek yogurt and a dessert, meaning it is very important to read food labels to look for additives and sugars in disguise.

Some common additives include:

Sweeteners:
Sugar
Honey
Fructose or High fructose corn syrup
Evaporated cane juice (aka sugar)
Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Acesulfame potassium (Aspartame)
Sucralose (Splenda)
Neotame
Thickeners & Fillers:
Modified cornstarch
Maltodextrin
Pectin
Locust bean gum
Guar gum
Carob bean gum
Xanthan gum
Calcium Chloride
Gelatin

 

Preservatives:
Potassium sorbate
Citric acid
Flavor:
Sodium citrate
Malic acid
Coloring Agents:
Turmeric
Fruit & vegetable juice concentrate
Annatto extract
Carmine
Carrageenan



For more information on these common food additives refer to my last post on What’s in your Greek Yogurt?

photo 2Wegman’s plain Greek yogurt did not pass the test; however, their flavored yogurts surpass Weis, ShopRite, Giant and Stop & Shop.

Wegman’s flavored Greek yogurt is second lowest in calories and sugar (Giant and Stop & Shop being the lowest), the highest in protein, and contains the least amount of additives.

And the awards go to…

Best Store Brand: Wegman’s
Highest in calories: ShopRite
Too high in sugar: ShopRite and Weis
Most additives: Giant and Stop & Shop

Wegman’s additives included sugar (which was added in every brand I compared), cornstarch, and pectin. The ingredient list is comprable to name brand Fage 0% and Chobani 0% flavored Greek yogurts, but has much less additives compared to the other store brands.

For example, Wegman’s honey Greek yogurt is flavored using clover honey; compared to Giant and Stop & Shop’s honey Greek yogurt which contains sugar, honey, pectin and locust bean gum.

Additives found in store brand flavored, non-fat Greek yogurt:

Giant and Stop & Shop
Fructose
Sugar
Pectin
Locust bean gum
Sodium citrate
Lactic acid
Fruit and vegetable juice
Stevia extract
Citric acid
Calcium choloride
ShopRite
Sugar
Lactic acid
Locust bean gum
Pectin
Sodium citrate
Fruit and vegetable juice concentrates
Calcium chloride
 
 

 

Weis
Sugar
Locust bean gum
Pectin
Sodium citrate
Citric acid
Juice concentrates
Calcium chloride
Wegman’s
Sugar
Cornstarch
Pectin
 
 
 


In terms of flavored, non-fat Greek yogurt my dietitian stamp of approval goes to:

Store Brand: Wegman’s
Name Brand: Chobani 0% or Fage 0%

The most nutritious choice for flavored Greek yogurt is buying the plain variety and adding your own fresh or frozen fruit. The fruit provides natural sweetness!  Another great natural sweetener is 1 Tbsp of local honey.  Mix some fruit or honey with granola and plain Greek yogurt for a nutrient packed, power snack or breakfast!

So the bottom line is enjoy your Greek yogurt, but whether it is name brand or store brand…

Always read the food label and ingredients list!

 

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About Gina
Gina Consalvo-Hassick, MA, RD, LDN, CDE, NCC is a registered dietitian and is actively involved in various food and nutrition communities. She has counseled and assessed a wide range of patients and has experience in outpatient, inpatient, and consulting. Areas of specialization include weight management, eating disorders, and wellness nutrition.
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Gina Hassick,
MA, RD, LDN, CDE, NCC

(908) 827-1482
gina@eatwellwithgina.com

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