Frozen yogurt is definitely having a moment, with successful fro-yo chains raking in cash all across the country. It wasn’t so long ago when it was impossible to find tubs of frozen yogurt in supermarkets alongside ice cream, but today just about every supermarket has some in stock. We wanted to see which one reigns supreme, so we tracked down seven different brands of vanilla frozen yogurt and put them to the test.
The seven brands that went head to head were Häagen-Dazs, Edy’s, Trader Joe’s, Yasso, Healthy Choice, Stonyfield, and Sweet Scoops. No two formulas were alike, but a look at the ingredient panels revealed that all of them contained cultured milk (usually skim) — in other words, yogurt — as well as cream and uncultured milk. There were a few outliers: Stonyfield added rice syrup to theirs, and Häagen-Dazs contained the fewest ingredients — only six — and was also the only brand that included egg. Fat ranged from zero to six grams, calorie count ranged from 80 to 170, sugar ranged from 11 to 21 grams, and protein (which frozen yogurt famously has more of than ice cream) ranged from two to nine grams.
Our group of nearly 20 panelists tasted the seven brands in a blind taste test, giving each one a score from 60 to 100 and making notes about the overall flavor, texture, mouthfeel, whether there was a pronounced tangy yogurt flavor, and how strong the vanilla flavor was. Some fared poorly across the board, and although, surprisingly, no one brand was universally loved, one did rise to the top, scoring 1,671 points out of a possible 1900 while its closest competitor scored 1,416.
So read on to learn what our panel of taste-testers thought of each of these seven leading brands of vanilla frozen yogurt. We definitely proved that not all fro-yo is created equal, and hope that we're giving you some guidance when you’re standing in the supermarket trying to decide which one to buy.
We took these bars off of their sticks to keep the playing field even, but this brand still fell to last place among our tasters, who found it to be “oddly sour and mushy,” “strangely lumpy,” “grainy,” and “sour” instead of tangy. Many agreed that it also had the least pronounced vanilla taste of the bunch.
Serving Size: One 3.5-ounce bar
Fat: .5 grams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Price: $4.99 for 4 bars
#6 Healthy Choice
This frozen yogurt came in individual serving cups, and turned most of our tasters off. One taster complained of a “cheesecake-like” texture, and another said that it had the texture of “the inside of an ice cream sandwich.” Yet another said its texture was “marshmallow-like,” and another thought it was “whipped, or oddly lumpy,” The reason for this odd texture is most likely the addition of a thickener called maltodextrin. Tasters also complained of a lack of vanilla flavor, as well as an odd aftertaste.
Serving Size: One four-ounce cup
Fat: 2 grams
Sugar: 11 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Price: $4.99 for 3 cups