REVIEW: Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt and Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt

Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt and Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt

Sometime between the introduction of Trix-flavored Go-Gurt and the advent of yogurt with poop-inducing bacteria, I lost all capacity to keep up with what is particularly trendy when it comes to fermented dairy. Kefir, you say? You mean that guy from 24? Call me overwhelmed, but I just don’t quite understand it all.

You know what I do understand? Pumpkin.

In donuts. In ice cream. In waffles and in cookies and, by George, this flavor actually works on a Pringle! And while I’ve yet to encounter the rumored Pumpkin Spice Burger the release of two new pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurts is enough to piqué my interest to an otherwise flabbergasting catalogue of yogurt types and flavors.

First up is Chobani, which has actually had a rough go of it in 2014. Banned by Russia for the Olympics and later accused of being Turkish, Chobani’s Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt holds the distinction of having actual pumpkin in the ingredient list, something that seemingly 90 percent of pumpkin-flavored goodies seem to be missing in what is becoming the most oversaturated single-product market since Pokémon cards.

Not to be outdone, Yoplait’s Pumpkin Cheesecake also features real pumpkin puree, in addition to the one-up mention of everyone’s other favorite cultured dairy dessert. I know what you’re thinking; cheesecake beats spice every time, right? But let’s not forget both these yogurts are of the 2 percent variety, and claim actual sugar to sweeten the deal. Pumpkin, milkfat, sugar? Seems like neither can go wrong.

Chobani Pumpkin Spice

If pumpkin spice is your deal—as in, you’re one of those people who carries around your own Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Spice canister to dump on EVERYTHING—you’re going to love the Chobani rendition. All the usual spices are present, but it’s their intensity—as if fresh grated nutmeg and ginger were added just minutes before packaging—which is most striking.

The cinnamon has a floral quality rising above cheaper imitations, and the strong ginger notes give the flavor an exotic appeal. Still, the flavor seems incomplete. There’s an absence of vanilla that would otherwise bring the flavors together, and a quiet sweetness bemoans the decision not to go with a more intense brown sugar sweetness. The texture, too, is imperfect. More jiggly than creamy, with a hint of surface water, it lacks a degree of richness which otherwise would have gone a long way to making it one of the early highlights of pumpkin season.

Yoplait’s Pumpkin Cheesecake is a different gourd, but not completely. Call it a Kabocha Squash to your typical Sugar Pumpkin, if you will. The texture is actually remarkably similar to the Chobani flavor. A bit more prone to breaking into multiple blobs of orangish yogurt, but still reacting with a jiggly effect when prodded by spoon (or finger, I don’t judge).

Yoplait Pumpkin Cheesecake

I take a bite, hoping to be greeted by a rich and creamery fresh taste not unlike that Baskin-Robbin ice cream, but instead I’m left with a somewhat artificial spice flavor and odd acidic aftertaste. It’s not altogether unenjoyable because the yogurt base is sweeter and the pumpkin flavor more intense than the Chobani yogurt, but it still leaves something to be desired. The cheesecake flavor seems more buttermilk inspired than cream cheese, but unlike the Chobani Pumpkin Spice, there’s a more familiar dessert-inspired flavor. The sweetness sure isn’t lacking, and together with a robust pumpkin flavor, it’s more versatile to use as a dip or in smoothies.

Neither Chobani’s Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice nor Yoplait’s Pumpkin Cheesecake flavors blew me away, although the freshness of the pumpkin spice flavor in the Chobani yogurt might be the most authentic rendition I’ve had to date. But the problems for both yogurts are unfortunately all too familiar for the seasonally-inspired treat. Too little brown sugar sweetness and not enough richness leave the pumpkin exposed to blandness, and despite the addition of milkfat, the texture of both yogurts doesn’t conjure up images of dessert. I may not be hip to the latest fads in yogurt, but I think it’s a safe bet to assume adding pumpkin won’t be the next big thing.

(Nutrition Facts – Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice – 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein, and 15% calcium. Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake – 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein, and 10% calcium.)

Item: Chobani Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt
Purchased Price: $1.39
Size: 5.3 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Remarkably fresh and flavorful combination of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Contains actual pumpkin. Good source of protein and calcium. Sticking it to comrade Putin.
Cons: Not quite sweet enough to really showcase the pumpkin flavor. Lacks richness or creamy taste. Questionable country of origin.

Item: Yoplait Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake Greek Yogurt
Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: 5.3 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Sweet and authentic pumpkin flavor. Has a cheesecake tang. Tastes like dessert.
Cons: Jiggles more than a fat guy’s triceps. Gloopy. Spice flavor is artificial. More calories and less protein than Chobani.

QUICK REVIEW: Yoplait Original Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Yogurt

Yoplait Original Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Yogurt

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Has a sweet and pleasant vanilla mint flavor with a hint of chocolate. Its flavor reminds me of an Andes Chocolate Mint. I didn’t think it would work, but it does. Container doesn’t have that lip regular Yoplait yogurt has that makes it hard to get every bit of yogurt out. 99 percent fat free and contains live and active cultures. Much better than that dreck known as Yoplait Light Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie Yogurt.
Cons: Four ounce containers are smaller than regular Yoplait containers; it’s gone in no time. Doesn’t contain crunchy peppermint bits. Some might think it contains too much sugar. I liked them enough that I’m a little disappointed I have to wait until September-October before I can eat them again (If Yoplait decides to bring them back).

Yoplait Original Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Yogurt Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 15% calcium, 15% vitamin D, and 10% phosphorus.

QUICK REVIEW: Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt

Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt

Purchased Price: Free*
Size: 5.3 oz.
Purchased at: Received from Yoplait
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Wonderful, sweet pineapple flavor, when I had a container with lots of pineapple chunks. No need to stir. Creamy. Surprisingly juicy pineapple chunks. Contains live and active cultures (but what yogurt doesn’t nowadays). Has 100 percent more protein than regular Yoplait yogurt. Picking the pineapple flavor because I live on a tropical island. No inward lip that makes it difficult to scrape out the yogurt like with regular Yoplait yogurt containers.
Cons: Inconsistencies with amount of pineapple chunks in containers; some had a lot and some had a little. 18 grams of sugar might be too much for some people. The pineapple provides very, very little vitamin C. Could use more calcium. Smaller containers than regular Yoplait yogurt.

Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt Closeup

Nutrition Facts: 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 50 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, 11 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 20% vitamin D.

*Disclosure: I received a case of Yoplait Greek Blended Pineapple Yogurt from Yoplait to review. I didn’t receive any money for doing a review, I only received free yogurt. The fact that I received the yogurt for free did not affect my review of it. Also, the fact that the yogurt wasn’t shipped via UPS or FedEx and I had to drive to the frickin’ airport to it pick up from the office of some shipper I’ve never heard of also did not affect my review of it.

REVIEW: Yoplait Fruplait (Strawberry & Harvest Peach)

Yoplait Fruplait (Strawberry & Harvest Peach)

I remember when yogurt came in two types: fruit on the bottom you had to mix-up yourself and the premixed fat-free gloop that left you disappointed.

Fast forward to 2013 and we now have yogurts that are whipped, yogurts specifically made to assist with cleaning your bowels, yogurts for kids, drinkable yogurts, yogurts with granola crumbles, lactose-free yogurts, fat-free yogurts, frozen yogurts from trendy named outlets where you can add chocolate covered potato chips and tapioca beads, and please don’t even get me started on those disgusting Greek yogurts that taste like rancid cheese.

There used to be a fine line between breakfast and dessert when it came to yogurt. The flavors available today guarantee some head scratching. Trust me, this becomes more apparent at 5:30 a.m. when you gulp down a chocolate silk pie-flavored yogurt. To ensure the waters stay muddled, Yoplait has released its new Fruplait line of niche yogurts.

Looking at Yoplait’s yogurt empire, I can understand why there has not been a yogurt like Fruplait before. It’s so elementary, it’s a wonder no one thought of it.

“You know what we need? More fruit in the yogurt,” Yoplait Brand Developer Number 305 screams. “We need a yogurt equivalent to a Michael Bay film stuffed with an Aerosmith soundtrack!”

The rest of the table asks, “Can we have Ving Rhames in it?”

“Sure, what the heck is he not in?”

“Yayyyy!!!” screams no one.

“Booooooo…” says Michael Clarke Duncan’s estate.

Because I love strawberry and peach, I bought both varieties. Plus, I have an indecision problem. I cannot just pick one. Like most Roman emperors, I needed them all. You can’t miss these because they are sold in a “convenient” four-pack with reserved white packaging.

I say, “convenient” only if you tend to buy four at a time because if you just want to try one and purchase maybe…I don’t know…one, like hoping for world peace, you’re out of luck Sunshine. Those miscreants at Yoplait made sure you have to have at least three in the fridge no matter how you like Fruplait.

Yoplait Fruplait (Strawberry & Harvest Peach) Containers

Unlike your Uncle Choy, who owes The Dragon of the Black Pool more than chicken fried rice and is now resting on the bottom of some retention pond, the fruit are in pockets, swirled in the middle and throughout the yogurt. As for the jammy goodness of the fruit, it has ample flavor and fruit.

Way more fruit.

Of course, that makes sense since the packaging tells you “2X the fruit of the leading yogurt.” With the strawberry flavor, it’s almost as if someone took a container of plain yogurt, went to an ice cream shoppe (with a soda jerk who speaks that 1920’s hoiky joiky lingo), and asked for extra strawberry topping. Creamy yogurt with an addictive sweet and syrupy fruit mix? Now if it sounds like I’m describing a dessert rather than breakfast, it’s because I am.

These yogurts add more haze to an already foggy patch the yogurt industry purposely created. I’m fine with it but trust me when I tell you that there is no way these are for breakfast. Both Fruplait varieties are the ubiquitous 99 percent fat-free, low fat yogurt, chock full of live and active cultures which have me imagine I’m drinking my plastic Sea-Monkeys tank.

Fruplait Strawberry is, as it says on the bottom of the package, “sheer joy in a cup.” The joy I got from this yogurt was a close second to the joy I get when my pee is so clean that I won’t violate probation. This yogurt is pretty damn good but I know it’s not the yogurt; it’s the sickly sweet strawberry pie like filling. If you love fruit-on-the-bottom strawberry yogurt, you will French-kiss and play Thompson Twins all night with this one.

Yoplait Fruplait Strawberry Closeup

First, there are big chunks of strawberry flesh that’s encased in that bright red jam. Second, you can mix it all you want, but it seems you will have a higher fruit to yogurt ratio. That’s good because while the yogurt is creamy, it has a slight chalky aftertaste that most fat-free yogurts have. The yogurt mutes the sweetness of the sundae-like strawberries, which is a good thing. However, the aftertaste ruins it just a bit.

Fruplait Harvest Peach must be peaches foraged from Candyland farms where trees grow whipped cream and bon-bons ripen in the orchards. The peaches, like the strawberries, were kick-started and chunky. They taste a little bit like the canned peaches you pretend are healthy but know the syrup says otherwise. But I like that, so if you’re not a fan of the tinned fruits, you should avoid. Harvest Peach is not as sweet as the Strawberry one and it seems the weird chalky aftertaste is tempered. The yogurt itself is as smooth and creamy as what’s in the Fruplait Strawberry.

Yoplait Fruplait (Strawberry & Harvest Peach) Spoons

Low-fat, live and active cultures, and vitamins aside, we’re not eating Fruplait for that nonsense. We’re eating these because we are too lazy to make an actual sundae or parfait. That’s fine with me because every time I stick a spoon in one, I’m giving the middle finger to anybody who said, “You can’t have dessert for breakfast.”

Yes, I can, jerks. Yes, I can.

(Nutrition Facts – Strawberry – 110 calories, 1 gram of total fat, less than 5mg of cholesterol, 50 mg of sodium, 160 mg of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein. Harvest Peach – 120 calories, 1 gram of fat, less than 5 mg of cholesterol, 55 mg of sodium, 170 mg of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Yoplait Fruplait (Strawberry & Harvest Peach)
Purchased Price: $2.50 each
Size: 4 pack
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Strawberry)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Harvest Peach)
Pros: The amount of fruit. The strawberry is jammy goodness. Michael Clarke Duncan in Armageddon. The yogurts are smooth and creamy. 99% fat-free homies. Creepy dead Roman emperors.
Cons: The peach is far from harvested. The slight chalkiness of the yogurt itself. Michael Clarke Duncan in Daredevil. You are forced to buy four of them at one time. Comic book movies that get it so wrong.

REVIEW: Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel

Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel Box

Hey, guys. Listen. Seriously, listen. I have found a well-kept secret from the Mediterranean that you do not want to miss. I really think it’s going to be the next Big Thing.

I can feel you quivering with anticipation, so I won’t drag it out: it’s Greek yogurt.

Wait, what? Greek yogurt has already gained mainstream popularity and has inundated the country’s supermarket dairy sections? How was I supposed to know that? Okay, well keep listening, because here’s the twist: there’s now Greek frozen yogurt.

Oh, that’s not new either? Where did you hear that? Oh, maybe it was here. Or here. Or here. Or here.

Sigh. The saying is true; there is nothing new under the sun.

But hey, these Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars are different. They’re new! And they’re made by Yoplait! I’ve trusted Yoplait for all my yogurt needs since I was a youth. Plus, they taught me about the silent “t” well before Stephen Colbert came on the scene.

A brief refresher course on Greek yogurt: it is also called strained yogurt, because, um…it’s been strained. Specifically, they squuuuueeeze out the whey, leaving a substance that is thicker than your average yogurt, yet still rich in flavor but lower in sugar and carbs.

Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars also come in Raspberry, Peach, and Strawberry Banana, but I chose the Honey Caramel variety because, in addition to never having tried Greek frozen yogurt, I’ve also never tried anything honey caramel-flavored. In fact, I’ve never even seen anything honey caramel-flavored before this.

Now I’m paranoid that there’s some honey caramel craze out there that I’m not aware of. I’m going to look like a pretty big idiot making fun of Greek yogurt at the beginning of this review when honey caramel has taken over store shelves and I haven’t even noticed. Maybe I’m in the dark, like Winnie the Pooh with his head stuck in the honey pot. Or a beehive. Man, that bear was stupid. I don’t want to be Winnie-the-Pooh stupid.

Right off the bat, the box of Yoplait’s Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars wants to hit me over the head with healthy boasts like “2x the protein of regular frozen yogurt”, “only natural flavors”, and “live and active cultures”.

I’ve always been kind of creeped out by yogurt’s live and active cultures, but I figure it’s better than dead and inactive cultures, or even undead cultures. Oh sure, everyone expects the zombie apocalypse to come from some sort of virus or science experiment gone wrong, but nobody suspects the yogurt.

…Yeah, I’m definitely paranoid.

Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel

While I’ve never had frozen Greek yogurt, I have had its refrigerated counterpart, so when I tried the Yoplait Honey Caramel bar, I was expecting the tartness that is the signature of Greek yogurt. I got that tartness, but it was more subtle, and also brought along a good friend – sweetness.

Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel Swirl

In fact, subtlety seems to be the word of the day for these yogurt bars. It was tart but not too tart and sweet but not cloyingly so. The caramel was delicious but not like eating a giant spoonful of the stuff. There was a hint of honey; that was one flavor that may have been a little too subtle, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

The yogurt was very smooth and creamy, and it held up very well as I ate it. No sticky hands here. I’m assuming the qualities of the yogurt – especially the Greek part – were responsible for it not melting down my hand.

Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel2

I’m far, far from a health nut, but it’s hard not to notice that the daily value percentages under the nutritional facts are single digits across the board. These yogurt bars are good and good for you! Well, at the very least, they’re not very bad for you.

I find it interesting that all the things I liked the most about Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel could just as easily be construed as faults by someone with a different palate. “Not sweet enough.” “Not tart enough.” “Not enough caramel.” “Not enough honey flavor.” Oh wait, I actually said that one.

Different strokes for different folks, as they say, and Yoplait stroked me the right way. Wait, that came out wrong. And it rhymed. Four times. You’re lucky you’re so tasty, Honey Caramel Yogurt Bars.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – 90 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 110 milligrams of potassium, 13 grams of total carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugars, 5 grams of protein, and 15% calcium.)

Other Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt reviews:
On Second Scoop

Item: Yoplait Greek Frozen Yogurt Bars Honey Caramel
Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 1 box/6 bars
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Creamy texture with just the right tartness and sweetness. Live and active cultures. Nice caramel taste. No sticky hands. Actually not bad for you. Getting stroked by Yoplait.
Cons: Honey flavor was a little too subtle. The yogurt zombie apocalypse. May not appeal to those who want a sweeter treat with stronger flavor. Committing accidental multiple rhymicide