Being a hardcore fan takes dedication. It entails joining fan clubs, showing up whenever the thing youâ€™re a fan of makes a public appearance, and devoting a huge portion of your week to enjoying whatever it is. Also a little bit of stalking. I believe the kids have created a delightful portmanteau for that kind of stalker fan: “Stan.”
But can one be a “stan” for a dairy product? I think I may qualify. I freaking love yogurt, man. I eat it every day. I have tried many brands, and I can say with confidence that Iâ€™ve settled on Yoplait as my brand of choice. Maybe itâ€™s Yoplaitâ€™s high amount of sugar talking, but Yoplait is my jam. Thatâ€™s not to say that fruit-flavored yogurts are my ultimate faves (see what I did there?) I have my old standbys: Vanilla, Boston Cream Pie, and Banana Cream Pie. These are the flavors that I canâ€™t do without, the ones over which I will seriously get mad if my store hasnâ€™t stocked them or if someone steals them from my fridge. And the stalkingâ€¦ Yes, I will do a drive-by of the dairy section just to see if my favorites are in stock, not even to buy them. I donâ€™t leave scary notes declaring my love, but those little containers know what Iâ€™m thinking. They can see it in my steely, meaningful gaze of longing mixed with a touch of resentment.
Now Yoplait has provided a whole new product for me to obsess over by releasing lactose-free versions of the creamy goodness: Yoplait Lactose Free 99% Fat Free Yogurt. (Just in time for Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month! This is actually a thing. Canâ€™t wait for the Hallmark product tie-insâ€¦ Iâ€™m thinking gassy teddy bears clutching milk bottles.) Iâ€™m not even sensitive to lactose, but I will buy this variety.
For now, Yoplait Lactose Free 99% Fat Free Yogurt only comes in Strawberry, Peach, Cherry, and French Vanilla flavors and not in delicious cake/pie flavorsâ€¦ but as a true stan, I donâ€™t hate, I appreciate, and I will kick the faces of anyone who does otherwise. I decided to sample the Strawberry and Peach ones since those are the sweet flavors that got me through my toughest times in 3rd and 4th grade. OK, not really, but they were always on my after school snack list. Lactose Free Yoplait 99% Fat Free Yogurt boasts that it has 50 percent of your recommended daily value of calcium, so weâ€™re off to a good start. Curious about the other ingredients, I read the label and saw that the only ingredients “not found in regular yogurt” were a lactase enzyme, Tricalcium phosphate and Vitamin D3. Interesting. It appears that the yogurt DOES have lactose, but it also contains an added enzyme to help break it down into nothing. But look, itâ€™s a genius addition, and if anybody complains about it theyâ€™re just jealous. Iâ€™m going to have Vitamin D3 tattooed on my face so everyone will know Iâ€™m down with the Yoplait nutrients.
I was pleased to find that the enzyme did absolutely nothing to change the flavor of the Strawberry and Peach yogurts. Both were sweet and creamy and had a nice smooth texture. You seriously wouldnâ€™t know whether you were eating regular yogurt or “lactose-free” yogurt if it werenâ€™t for the stylish, bright green packaging that proudly proclaims the latter.
Iâ€™m sure all this is welcome news for those amongst us with lactose intolerance. Poor devils. Sure, alternative non-dairy yogurt exists — Iâ€™ve tried soy, but itâ€™s just not the same. And itâ€™s expensive. Those little beans can be so hard to milk. So now we have an alternative to the alternative. Works out fine because theyâ€™re just imitators of the Originator. And as the Yoplait stan that I am, it pains to me say that, price-wise, Yoplait Lactose Free is only slightly less expensive than the non-dairy brands. One thing to consider is that the label may have the word “Free” on it a lot, but the price is 90 cents, which is a little more than Iâ€™ve paid for regular or Light Yoplait yogurt in the past. On the bright side, if my insides decide they suddenly canâ€™t process yogurt anymore then Iâ€™ll have a reason to keep living because thereâ€™s no replacing Yoplait. EVER.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 container (6 ounces) – Strawberry – 170 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 26 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 50% calcium, 50% vitamin D, and 4% iron. Peach – 170 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 26 grams of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 15% vitamin A, 50% calcium, 50% vitamin D, and 4% iron.)
Item: Yoplait Lactose Free 99% Fat Free Yogurt (Peach and Strawberry)
Price: 90 cents
Size: 6 ounces
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Peach)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Strawberry)â€¨
Pros: Yogurt stans. No lactose-related tummy aches. Provides 50% of recommended daily value of Calcium. Tastes like normal yogurt. Lactose Intolerance Awareness Month.
Cons: Gassy teddy bears. Stalking dairy. Slightly pricier than Yoplait Light and regular Yoplait. Lack of cake/pie flavors. Milking beans.