The Greek Yogurt Showdown: Oikos vs Chobani vs Fage

greek yogurts

It’s time for a Greek yogurt showdown! Today is a three-way match pitting Dannon Oikos vs Chobani vs Fage, with Great Value and Trader Joe’s brands available for alternates in case of injury.

I’ll introduce the challengers and get into a comparison, but before we begin, what’s so special about Greek yogurt in the first place?

 

Why Greek Yogurt?

There’s a problem with yogurt. The vast majority of them are either full of sugar or artificial sweeteners (or both.) Not only is that a waste of calories, it’s a health hazard. That junk feeds the bad bacteria in your gut, while also killing off the good bacteria… which completely defeats the purpose of eating yogurt for the probiotic benefits!

Even plain yogurt is a bit high in sugar for all the more protein it contains. (And be careful because “vanilla” is one of the flavors with added sugar!)

Greek yogurt, on the other hand, is ridiculously high in protein. A cup of Greek yogurt has about the same protein content as a full scoop of whey protein powder! It’s filling, too.

Sure, the flavored Greek yogurts are still loaded with sugar, almost defeating the purpose of Greek yogurt. So I’m only including the plain yogurt today.

Without further ado, let’s meet the challengers…

 

dannon oikos greek yogurt

Challenger #1: Dannon Oikos

Dannon Oikos is an easy-to-find, moderately priced Greek yogurt. It is priced higher than Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand, but a little less than Fage and Chobani.

For this battle, I got two 32oz tubs – the “Traditional Greek Yogurt” made with whole milk and the “Fat Free Greek Yogurt” made with nonfat milk (as seen below.)

Ingredients for full fat:
Cultured Grade A Milk.

Ingredients for 0% fat:
Cultured Grade A Non Fat Milk.

Both varieties have a mild flavor which makes them very versatile, and the smooth creaminess of the whole milk version can’t be found elsewhere.

 

chobani greek yogurt

Challenger #2: Chobani

Chobani is probably the most popular authentic brand of Greek yogurt. They have a rich history, good looking containers, and a high price – just under $6 for the 32oz tub.

Ingredients:
Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Live And Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus And L. Casei.

It definitely has a strong, tart taste. I’d even call it sour. I couldn’t eat it plain – it was actually too potent for me! So there’s no confusing this with the other brands!

 

fage greek yogurt

Challenger #3: Fage

The most expensive choice at over $7 per 35.3oz tub, Fage offers both a rich Greek heritage and a great taste.

Ingredients: Grade A Pasteurized Skimmed Milk, Live Active Yogurt Cultures (L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei).

Quite simply, Fage tastes awesome! It has a great, rich flavor with almost no tartness. And you wanna talk about Greek yogurt being thick? This is THICK! It’s like scooping out ice cream!

 

great value greek yogurt

Alternate #1: Great Value

At about $3.98 per container, Wal-Mart’s private label brand is the best value in Greek yogurt.

Ingredients: N/A

It tastes pretty good; it’s not tart and it’s definitely not sour. Actually, it tastes like plain yogurt, just thicker. This makes it a great way to transition into eating Greek yogurt.

 

trader joe's greek yogurt

Alternate #2: Trader Joe’s

At $4.99 for the 32oz container, Trader Joe’s brand is slightly cheaper than name brands, while still providing a great product.

Ingredients: Grade A Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Live And Active Cultures: S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei. Cultured After Pasteurization.

It’s a very good yogurt that seems extra smooth, but still thick, not runny. It practically melts in your mouth! (So it’s like experiencing the whole milk Oikos without the fat.)

There’s certainly a hint of that trademark Greek yogurt tartness, but just enough to tell you what it is. It’s pleasantly “tart” without being sour.

 

Nutrition Facts Table

Here’s a direct comparison of the macronutrient breakdowns between each brand:

 

Dannon Oikos (Traditional)

Dannon Oikos (Nonfat)

Chobani

Fage

Great Value

Trader Joe’s

Calories 190 120 140 130 120 120
Fat (g) 9 0 0 0 0 0
Carbs (g) 9 9 9 9 9 7
Sugars (g) 9 9 9 9 9 6
Protein (g) 20 22 23 23 23 22

 

Though most of these are very similar, there are a few key points to talk about.

There is only one option with fat – Dannon Oikos Traditional.  Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of a few grams of protein. It is also significantly higher in calories than the rest.

If you want less sugar, Trader Joe’s is the choice for you. It has lower sugar and carbs, while still remaining high in protein.

Otherwise, all of them are essentially the same when it comes to calories, fat, carbs, and protein.

 

Taste and Texture Comparison

Now here is where the choice is really made!

Dannon Oikos Nonfat

This tastes quite a bit like plain yogurt, with very little tartness. It’s a little thicker than normal yogurt, but not thick at all in terms of Greek yogurt.

It’s equivalent to or even less potent than Great Value, so it tastes nothing like Chobani, and it’s certainly not as thick as Fage. I consider this the best option if you’ve never had Greek yogurt before and want to start.

Eaten plain: OK.
Mixed with ground flax seed: Excellent.
Mixed with flax and berries: Good.
In a peanut butter banana smoothie: Excellent.

Dannon Oikos Traditional

This is the thick and very, very creamy yogurt with a little bit more potent, yet still tame, flavor.

Eaten plain: Potent, but enjoyable, since it’s so creamy.
Mixed with ground flax seed: Good.
Mixed with flax and berries: Excellent.
In a peanut butter banana smoothie: Very good.

Chobani

Some people might prefer this, but I found it so sour that it was a chore to eat! Fortunately you can overpower it with some fresh fruit (especially when mixed in a fruit smoothie,) but with just the flax seed, that didn’t mask the overly tart yogurt flavor. The tartness also proved problematic when mixed in a peanut butter banana smoothie.

Eaten plain: Almost unbearable.
Mixed with ground flax seed: Not good.
Mixed with flax and berries: Pretty tasty.
In an orange banana smoothie: Very complementary. Delicious.

Fage

Fage has quickly become my #1 choice in Greek yogurt! Oikos is a distant second place, Great Value is a distant third, and Chobani is last.

It’s thick (like scooping out ice cream) and it tastes awesome!

Eaten plain: Good.
Mixed with ground flax seed: Very good.
Mixed with flax and berries: Incredibly good!
In a peanut butter banana smoothie: Pretty good.

Trader Joe’s

This is another very good choice. It’s extra smooth, but still thick, not runny. It melts in your mouth!

It tastes great, so I like it plain or mixed with stuff. There’s certainly a taste of that Greek yogurt tartness, but just enough to tell you what it is. It’s “tart” but not sour. It’s most similar to the Dannon Oikos.

Eaten plain: Good, but a bit tart.
Mixed with ground flax seed: Not very good (it’s too smooth, making the flax seem grainy.)
Mixed with flax and berries: A very good, complementary flavor, love the smooth texture.
In a banana smoothie: Good, but mostly unnoticeable (since it won’t thicken it up much.)

Great Value

The taste is pretty good, but plain, with an average texture. The good news is, it’s not tart at all (and definitely not sour.) It tastes like yogurt, just thicker.

Eaten plain: Alright.
Mixed with ground flax seed: Pretty good.
Mixed with flax and berries: Good.
In a peanut butter banana smoothie: Very good.

 

My Final Verdict

If I’m getting Greek yogurt to put in smoothies, it doesn’t matter much if it’s Great Value, Trader Joe’s, or Dannon Oikos. They are all pretty good without being overpowering. Get whatever is most convenient for you.

When I’m getting yogurt to eat in a bowl with toppings, it’s gotta be Fage! It’s just sooo much better than anything else.

Chobani… it’s expensive and I don’t like it. Enough said.

Find out more at FageUSA.com, OikosYogurt.com, Chobani.com, and TraderJoes.com.

 

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2 Comments so far

  1. Edie James on February 7th, 2014

    I totally agree about Fage. I eat 8oz at breakfast and it is awesome. Recently I went to Dallas and for 3 weeks I shopped at a grocery call H-E-B. They have wonderful fruits and veggies but they were phasing out the Fage 0% greek yogurt in favor of their H-E-B brand. I bought up 3 containers of the $3 yogurt every few days. I am back in California but, will be going back to Dallas at the end of Feb 2014. I hear they have the H-E-B brand of 0% greek yogurt out now so I will do a side by side taste comparison. The ingredients are the same.

  2. Levi on February 8th, 2014

    @Edie

    I’ve heard of H-E-B, but have never seen one in person. Definitely let me know if you like their Greek yogurt, because then I probably would too!

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