Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Greek Yogurt Review X : Giant Brand Greek Yogurt

 Last weekend, I discovered that the Giant Supermarkets ( a large chain that essentially blankets the North East of the US from Maine ( as Stop & Shop ) to Virginia ( as Giant / Giant Eagle / Martin's ) had released their own "store brand" Greek yogurt. Well of course, I had to get a cup for review!

     I was a little hesitant, after my bad experience with Safeway brand Greek yogurt,  but decided that since I'd had a slightly better experience with the Hannaford store brand.,  I would give Giant's new product a try with a clear mind and an open heart. Now, I know most store brand groceries are actually made by the main conglomos of the world - and after tasting Giant's store brand Greek yogurt, I'm convinced the Chobani Corporation is moonlighting for Giant.

      Again, for reasons of a fair review, I chose to sample the vanilla yogurt. ( I generally eat the vanilla flavor anyway; I add my own fruit every morning, and the sugar count is generally lower. )The yogurt is packaged rather plainly, with little fanfare or splashy advertising. I reviewed the nutritional data: mixed reviews.

Calories? 130 - pretty good for a Greek yogurt. Most are 30-60 calories more.
Sodium? 105 mg - in line with other Greek yogurts.
Sugar? 17 g - a few lower than most yogurts.

     Ingredients? Cultured, pasteurized nonfat milk, sugar, vanilla extract,  pectin, locust bean gum, live active cultures.
Almost identical word for word with Chobani. However, the Chobani label lists "evaporated cane juice" where Giant's store brand lists "sugar". Knowing that evaporated cane juice is more expensive than sugar - it makes sense to put it in the store brand rather than the premium, higher cost brand.
Clean?  - Um...just this side of borderline. Added sugar makes it not as Clean as it could be. I wish it wasn't in there. However, it is difficult to discern how much of that sugar count is from the inherent sugar present in milk, and how much is added sugar. But overall, fewer ingredients than some brands like Dannon. Nothing I didn't recognize.
Tanginess? Same as Chobani, about a 2 of 5 on my "Tangyness" scale.

    Overall, the Giant brand flavor and texture wise is excellent. I'd definitely recommend it as a less expensive alternative to Chobani. On the Clean Eating scale, this is ok. Yes, it has added sugar - but it is a sight healthier for you than most commercially prepared yogurts. If you like Chobanii and have a Giant or Stop & Shop near your home - I'd definitely recommend Giant brand yogurts.

     Thumbs up!