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Store brands top big-name yogurts

By KATHY SAUNDERS
Published November 30, 2005


Ever since Snackwell's stopped selling chocolate cheesecake yogurt seven years ago, I haven't put a spoon of yogurt in my mouth. I can't stand the sourness. But everyone else in my family loves the stuff. My husband even eats yogurt as dessert - the unflavored plain kind.

Taster's Choice sampled seven varieties of low-fat vanilla yogurt. The results were favorable, although most judges decided they would prefer a sweeter, fruit-studded yogurt when given the choice.

The highest scorer was Publix (55 cents for 8 ounces) with 44 points out of a possible 80. Judges liked the "very white" color and smooth texture.

"This would be great to add to a smoothie," said a panelist who also said she would "absolutely" buy Publix yogurt.

The second pick was from Albertsons (55 cents for 8 ounces). Judges gave it 43 points.

"This has a very "yogurt' flavor," said one panelist. "It has a really good off-white color and it's not fake looking."

Another judge liked the stiff peaks that formed when he spooned his yogurt in a bowl.

"This one is a little chalky, but it's not too sweet and there's no aftertaste," he said.

The same sample though, reminded another panelist "of why I don't like yogurt."

One judge liked Yoplait (67 cents for 6 ounces) so much she decided to start eating yogurt for the first time.

Yoplait placed third in our survey with 39 of 80 possible points. It tied with from Kash n' Karry (50 cents for 8 ounces).

"This is delicious," said one judge of Yoplait. "I love the vanilla taste and it's very smooth and creamy." The same judge said she couldn't taste the vanilla in the Kash n' Karry brand.

Two of the four judges said they would buy each of the top picks.

Also tasted were vanilla yogurts from: Dannon (66 cents for 6 ounces); Blue Bunny (50 cents for 6 ounces) and Great Value (33 cents for 6 ounces).

Panelists were: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian with Pinellas County Extension; chef Gary Kawalec, personal chef Julie Overton and Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studioat620. All products were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to krieta@sptimes.com Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to www.sptimes.com/food

VANILLA YOGURT RANKINGS

No. 1: Publix.

No. 2: Albertsons.

No. 3 (tie): Yoplait, Kash n' Karry.

[Last modified November 29, 2005, 10:47:04]


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