French-Style Shelf-Stable Yogurt Is A Perfect Back-To-School Snack

Shelf-stable dairy has long been popular in Europe. In fact, brands like Parmalat, Granarolo, and Materne line the shelves in every supermarket with shelf stable milk, pudding, and cream-filled desserts. Milk found its shelf-stable way to the States not too long ago (here's looking at you, Parmalat), and yogurt is making the move next thanks to GoGo Squeez , a French company focused on kid-friendly healthy snacks.

GoGo Squeez is the latest iteration from a company that started in 1881 but only came to the United States in 2008. It also produces those can't-miss green applesauce pouches that have become popular. While production of those US-sold pouches has moved to the States in 2011 (what up, Traverse City, Michigan), GoGo Squeez's facilities remains in France. Why? The cows.

More than 60 dairy farms surrounding the Normandy factory have been contracted to do nothing but produce that famous Normandy milk for GoGo Squeez yogurt punches. Normandy cows are famous for their high protein milk that creates unparalleled yogurt, cheese and milk.

"The cows have one job, to eat grass, roughly 40 pounds, a day" says one of the farmers GoGo Squeez works with. The cows are meticulously taken care and ggs comes to gather the collected milk daily.

Once collected and returned to the factory, the milk is transformed into low-fat, high-protein French-style yogurt. All natural fruit and flavor are added and each pouch is filled and sealed before undergoing a retort process.

"Essentially, the process kills all the bacteria, good and bad," explained Francois Cottebrune, the brand's safety manager, "which is why it becomes shelf stable"

Retort involves steam. Saturating the retort vessel – in this case the pouches – with steam is a requirement of the process. (Imagine a pressure cooker.) The pouches are heated at high temperatures and with pressure to not only cook the yogurt inside, but sterilize it. That process produces a shelf-stable yogurt that contains no active bacteria at all.

So, while the pouches don't contain active culture yogurt (can we really have it all?), GoGo Squeez is still an amazing high protein (4 grams per punch) and healthy, preservative-free snack, ideal for lunch boxes beings stored in a school locker or desk all day.

This is one lunchbox snack parents can feel good about stealing from their kids.