Friday, April 11, 2014

100-Calorie Greek Yogurt

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the 100-calorie single-serve snack pack. Kraft Foods popularized the concept in 2004 when it offered sweet and savory snacks in portion-controlled packs.

Dairy foods manufacturers have learned that creating a 100-calorie product line is challenging, as calories can fluctuate by 10 to 20 when you change the characterizing flavor ingredients. For example, Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt, the pioneers of frozen Greek yogurt, have a number of novelty bars that come in at 100. They also have some as low as 80 and a few that jump to 130.

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As the 100-calorie pack trailblazer, Kraft has had the most activity with this concept in the dairy category. There have been some wins and some not so successful launches.


The company still offers 100-calorie single-serve cottage cheese options under the Breakstone’s and Knudsen brands. However, the Cheese Bites line, which debuted in early 2010, barely lasted a year in the marketplace. The single-serve “pasteurized prepared cheese snacks” were sold in bags containing five snack packs. Varieties were Cheddar; Cheddar & Monterey Jack; Mozzarella, Garlic & Herb; and Three Cheese Blend (mozzarella, Parmesan and white Cheddar).

Kraft, as of right now, is not in the yogurt business. I am sure there are regrets for selling the Breyers and Light ‘N Lively brands, as the 100-calorie platform is becoming increasingly popular in the yogurt category, particularly with Greek yogurt. Ironically, Kraft sold those brands in 2004, the same year it entered the 100-calorie pack business.


When it comes to 100 calories in yogurt…Greek is the word. The most recent player to enter this category is Prairie Farms Dairy, who has product hitting store shelves this week.

“Our loyal consumers asked for this product and we’re pleased to deliver a high-quality Greek 100 Yogurt made without the use of artificial sweeteners,” says Rebecca Leinenbach, sales program director. “Our new 100 Calorie Greek Yogurt is a great addition to our popular Greek yogurt line that was introduced last April.”

Prairie Farms 100 Calorie Greek Yogurt comes in five varieties: Blueberry, Cherry, Key Lime, Peach and Strawberry.

The ingredient legend for Blueberry reads: Cultured Pasteurized Skim Milk, Blueberries, Sugar, Fructose, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Pectin, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Calcium Chloride, Stevia Extract, Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color. Contains Five Live Active Cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus and L. casei.

The key nutritionals are: 0 grams fat, <1 gram fiber, 12 grams sugar, 12 grams protein, per 5.3-ounce cup.

All of the 100-calorie Greek yogurts in the marketplace differ ever so slightly in formulation. The brand most touting its naturalness is Chobani.

Check out this ad:

Chobani Simply 100 Greek Yogurt comes in six varieties: Black Cherry, Blueberry, Peach, Pineapple, Strawberry and Vanilla.

The ingredient panel for the Black Cherry variety reads: Nonfat Yogurt (Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk), Live and Active Cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus and L. casei, Chicory Root Fiber, Black Cherries, Water, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Evaporated Cane Juice, Pectin, Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Monkfruit Extract, Stevia Leaf Extract.


It is the only 100-calorie brand to use chicory root fiber, monkfruit extract and stevia to keep calories low and add fiber. In fact, Chobani is the only 100-calorie Greek yogurt to be enhanced with fiber. The chicory root does that and more. It also enhances and rounds out sweetness. The key nutritionals are: 0 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 12 grams protein, per 5.3-ounce cup.


The other national brand competing in the 100-calorie Greek yogurt segment is Yoplait. Yoplait Greek 100 comes in 10 varieties: Apple Pie, Black Cherry, Key Lime, Lemon, Mixed Berry, Peach, Strawberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Tropical and Vanilla.

The ingredient legend for Black Cherry reads: Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, Fruit Blend (Water, Black Cherries, Tart Cherries, Sugar, Corn Starch, Lemon Juice Concentrate). Contains 2% or less of: Sugar, Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate added to maintain freshness, Natural Flavor, Yogurt Cultures (L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus), Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3.
The key nutritionals are: 0 grams fat, 0 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 10 grams protein, per 5.3-ounce cup.

Dannon is not on board with the 100 calorie concept. The company chose to go lower than 100. It has two 80-calorie Greek yogurt lines, one under its Light & Fit brand and another under Activia.
The Activia Greek Light line has five varieties: Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla.

The Light & Fit line includes Banana Cream, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cherry Chocolate, Key Lime, Orange Cream, Peach, Pineapple, Plain, Pomegranate Berry, Raspberry, Raspberry Chocolate, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Cheesecake, Toasted Coconut Vanilla and Vanilla, as well as two seasonal flavors offered through Target stores only. They are Caramel Macchiato and Citrus Blend.

Neither product contains fiber. Both are sweetened with acesulfame potassium and sucralose.

There are a number of private-label options, again, all ever so slightly different. Safeway offers Lucerne Greek 100 Calorie in four varieties: Black Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry and Vanilla.

The ingredient legend for Blueberry reads: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, Blueberry Base (Water, Blueberries, Fructose, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Pectin, Calcium Citrate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Lemon Juice Concentrate), Milk Protein Concentrate, Modified Corn Starch, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3, Live Cultures (L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus).

The key nutritionals are: 0 grams fat, 0 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 11 grams protein, per 6-ounce cup.


Aldi offers Friendly Farms Greek 100 Calories in two varieties: Mixed Berry and Tropical Fruit.

The ingredient legend for Mixed Berry reads:  Cultured Pasteurized Grade A Nonfat Milk, Strawberries, Sugar, Blueberries, Raspberry Puree, Corn Starch, Pectin, Natural Flavor, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium. Contains Five Live Active Cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus and L. casei.


The key nutritionals are: 0 grams fat, <1 gram fiber, 9 grams sugar, 12 grams protein, per 5.3-ounce cup.

The Roundy’s version comes in Black Cherry, Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla. The ingredient legend for Black Cherry reads:  Cultured Pasteurized Skim Milk, Cherries, Fructose, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Locust Bean Gum, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Calcium Chloride, Stevia Extract. Contains Five Live Active Cultures: S. thermophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, Bifidus and L. casei.

The key nutritionals are: 0 grams fat, <1 gram fiber, 13 grams sugar, 12 grams protein, per 5.3-ounce cup.


The 100-calorie concept has definitely found a place in the dairy case. It will be interesting to see how companies begin to differentiate through the addition and subtraction of ingredients for value-added content claims.

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