What’s Greek Yogurt Doing at the Superbowl?

Finally in 2012, a Superbowl ad for food other than junk. Dannon presented its Oikos Greek Yogurt in a playful, sexy little clip featuring John Stamos and a pretty, albeit violent, partner. Will a 30 second spot for $3.5 million convince consumers to increase yogurt consumption? Will it help Dannon catch up to category leader Chobani?

According to Dannon: Dannon® Oikos® nonfat berry flavors beat Chobani® 2 to 1 in a national taste test.

True or not, Dannon has plenty of work to do in order to beat Chobani. The latter is a brand that came out of nowhere 6 years ago and revolutionized the yogurt category. Chobani sold over 500 million dollars worth of product last year.

From a nutrition perspective, Greek yogurt has become a favorite of dietitians and dieters because of its high protein count compared to regular yogurt (twice as much).

So just how healthy is the Dannon Oikos Blueberry yogurt, non-fat that was featured in the commercial?

What you need to know:

A serving of yogurt is 130 calories and contains 12 grams of protein. While there is no shortage of protein in the American diet, many times it comes attached to lots of saturated fat (meats). Here the protein comes in a fat free package.

The yogurt also has 19 grams of sugar, but about 12 of those are naturally occurring sugars (called lactose) that are present in milk and other dairy products. the 7 additional grams (about 2 teaspoons) are from added sugar and the blueberries.

Here is the ingredient list:

Cultured grade a non fat milk, blueberries, water, sugar, fructose, contains less than 1%: of modified corn starch, natural flavor, carrageenan, carmine (for color), malic acid, potassium sorbate (to maintain freshness), vitamin D3.

Not bad, but not as short as the list for plain yogurt.  Once you add fruit to a yogurt, you need to make sure it won’t get too friendly with the yogurt and start unwanted chemical processes. That’s why malic acid and potassium sorbate are added.

Another question is with regards to the added natural flavor. Were you to buy a plain yogurt and too some fresh blueberries inside, you wouldn’t add a ny flavors aside from some sugar. So why is Oikos adding that here?

Last but not least, carmine. Don’t freak out, but it’s bug powder. Read more about it here. We think it’s way cooler than using artificial colorings.

Overall this yogurt is a decent choice, but if you really want to eat healthy, opt for plain yogurt and bring your own fresh fruit to the party.

What to do at the supermarket:

Choose the yogurt brand you like, but make sure to buy low fat or non fat versions. Best is to buy non-flavored yogurts and control the sweet level by adding your own touch of honey or scoop of diced fruit.

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  • Richard

    But yoghurt contains dairy so it has to be junk food as calves milk is toxic when ingested by humans.

    • Jim

      Calves don’t give milk!

    • Audrey

      Are you nuts?!?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661522881 Tiffany Bevis

    I prefer Chobani, Fage and Olympus greek yogurts due to the thicker consistency. The Oikos is more soupy to me. To get the highest protein and less processed..stick with the plain greek yogurt and add your own sweetner..honey…maple syrup..agave..etc..or even fresh/frozen fruit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661522881 Tiffany Bevis

    I prefer Chobani, Fage and Olympus greek yogurts due to the thicker consistency. The Oikos is more soupy to me. To get the highest protein and less processed..stick with the plain greek yogurt and add your own sweetner..honey…maple syrup..agave..etc..or even fresh/frozen fruit.

  • http://www.ruthsrealfood.com/ Ruth @ Ruth’s Real Food

    My favorite Greek style yogurt is my homemade version.
    It’s good, but I certainly wouldn’t attack anyone for it. The commercial was disturbing.

  • http://www.ruthsrealfood.com/ Ruth @ Ruth’s Real Food

    My favorite Greek style yogurt is my homemade version.
    It’s good, but I certainly wouldn’t attack anyone for it. The commercial was disturbing.

  • Liz

    I’ve had Oikos and I think the only reason it could ever beat out Chobani and Fage would be because your average consumer might find them too “Greek” compared to the typical yogurt that they’re used to. I’ll stick with Fage, thanks. 

  • Chapsley

    I used to buy Fage until I read that Trader Joe’s plain greek yogurt won a local blind taste test, in the San Francisco Chronicle.  I tried it, and I liked it too!

  • Brian

    I would argue that the sugars in this yogurt would be more unhealthy for you than the fats in a full fat version, although those fats would still not be optimal with this particular brand, because the dairy products used are probably from CAFO cattle (I could be wrong about the CAFO source, as I am making an assumption here). Full fat yogurt from pasture raised grass fed cattle, with as little pasteurization as possible, and no added sugars, aside those from fresh fruit would be the optimal way to go (maybe a bit of raw honey), in my opinion.

    For some science on fats that do not adhere to conventional wisdom, see this link: http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/skinny-on-fats.

    Also, I think you are correct about the protein… we really don’t need the extra protein that greek yogurt gives us. The only exception I can think of is if you are a vegetarian that eats dairy products. It’s a good way to get some animal based protein if that’s what you desire.

  • FoodiesAreFish

    You foodie idiots are such suckers! Let a marketer present any stinky half-rotted food like yogurt, give it a foreign sounding name and you are fawning and drooling all over it. Just like fish hitting a shiny spinning lure. Suckers!

  • Lisa

    “Last but not least, carmine.”

    The Big Ragu?

  • homesteadingonthehomefront

    It is so easy to make yogurt (and cheaper, too) that I don’t know why more people don’t do it.  I make a batch of plain (then strain with cheesecloth to make ‘Greek’ style) and everyone in the family adds their own fruit to flavor.  I use the left-over whey in breadmaking. 

  • http://twitter.com/webcudgel Charles Martin

    “Don’t freak out”?  For some individuals who treasure the scriptural commandments to not eat anything that crawls on the ground, it is definitely a reason to avoid this product altogether.  It *does* matter to some people.

  • Guest

    I don’t usually find violent things playful and sexy. The ad was beyond stupid, not funny and certainly didn’t sell me on their yogurt. 

  • Mayasl

    too bad its not made of organic milk….who wants all that junk?

  • Mayasl

    too bad its not made of organic milk….who wants all that junk?

  • http://www.stretchmarksolutions.co.uk/ Rachel Keegan

    Cool stuffs! Lolz. Dannon Oikos really delicious and tasty too. I love it amazingly. Thanks!

  • Carol

    “Greek” yogurt has more protein because some water has been removed. So, it isn’t healthier on a per calorie basis, but that’s generally why it costs more (straining out the water is an extra processing step). In Greece the yogurt tastes nothing like what you get here because they don’t use non-fat milk.

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