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We have reached peak yogurt

Illustration for article titled We have reached peak yogurt
Photo: arto_canon (iStock)
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It seems like yogurt now has its own entire aisle at the grocery store. If you’re just looking for plain vanilla, non-Greek, without mix-ins: lots of luck. The Wall Street Journal confirms these findings today in a story titled, “Yogurt Sales Sour As Options Proliferate,” reporting that yogurt fans now have literally hundreds of options: “The average U.S. supermarket carries 306 different yogurt varieties… up 4% since 2015.” Meanwhile, “Overall yogurt sales fell 6% by volume in the year through February, Nielsen data shows. Sales of Greek yogurt, which kick-started the category’s explosive growth, fell 11%.”

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If it seems incongruous that yogurt varieties are multiplying while sales are sinking, well, the WSJ agrees with you. In fact, the myriad yogurts may make that particular grocery aisle too daunting for shoppers; WSJ notes that General Mills Chief Executive Jeff Harmening said in a previous interview that all the choice is overwhelming: “‘The shelf has become more difficult to shop.’”

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WSJ also features some graphics showing how the different yogurts are faring, with Greek brands like Chobani now making up half of the market, while Icelandic and nondairy yogurts are surging. Smoothies, not so much. So despite the sinking sales, companies are still trying to reconfigure to tap into yogurt consumers.

It’s an interesting read over at WSJ for yogurt fans: It probably won’t make your next visit to the dairy aisle any less confusing, but at least now you’ll know why you’re confused.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

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After trying so many yogurts in the last 18 months, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

- Fage is the only good mass-market Greek yogurt, and pairs well with everything.

- Noosa lives up to its claim of being an Australian dessert yogurt, especially with a few mix-ins.

- Chobani is unsavable in any permutation.

- Trader Joe’s creme yogurt 6-packs are amaaaaazing, especially Mango and Peach packs (3 of each). Everything else now tastes like cheap garbage (lookin’ at you, Kroger house brand and Yoplait and Dannon and anything else I can actually afford).

- Yoplait Oui is alright for what it is, but nothing mindblowing. If you’re buying it, it’s for the cute little glass jars, which is a bad reason.

- Plain yogurt with add-ins is fine, but so are pre-made options and even the pre-selected dump-in options. Sometimes I don’t want to buy 16 ounces of granola for a single spoonful.

- Icelandic-style yogurts are too strong for me, I would die having to eat this every day.