Yoplait Vegan: Oui or Non?

I'm always looking for new products in stores. It's quickly become part of my shopping routine. So, when I was at Target yesterday, I was surprised to see these little gems in the yogurt section:

My initial reaction was, "coconut? Really?" I feel like a lot of the mainstream food producers are riding the coattails of the dairy free innovators, trying to capitalize on a market that they did nothing to create. And they seem to all be a few years behind. So Delicious launched coconut yogurt years ago and it's obvious that the hot new dairy swap is oat (even our Starbucks is testing oat milk lattes!). But, the flipside of that is, more vegan options in more mainstream stores. So, I'll give them a try. They were labeled $1.99 a jar, but when we checked out they were on sale for $1.25. I love the jars, which are much more recyclable than plastic and can be repurposed/reused. Find lids here:

The Texture Let's get to the actual product. One of my complaints about the almond milk yogurts is the texture. I've adjusted, but growing up on Yoplait Custard Style (showing my age here!) I've wondered why no one can make a plant based yogurt that consistency. My other issue with the existing plant based yogurts is that so many are runny. I jostle them in the store and seldom find one that isn't sloshing around in there. I don't want Danimals, people! I'm a grown up! But, seriously, look at how satisfying that vanilla swirl pattern is:

At this point, I realized what I had just discovered. This was the perfect yogurt texture.

It held its shape and clung to the spoon even after I turned it sideways.

The Taste

Vanilla nondairy Oui has a flavor that is almost identical to So Delicious vanilla coconut ice cream. (my kids made that connection) I liked that the Strawberry Oui fruit on the bottom had actual strawberry yogurt on top. My dad always bought the Dannon blueberry fruit on the bottom and I hated it because it was plain on top. (And if you stirred it in, it was never smooth enough and got more runny the more you stirred.) That's not the case here. But, I didn't stir this either and felt like the strawberries on the bottom weren't necessary. It's sweet enough and when you got to the bottom it was just a lot of sweetness. The coconut was a lot more subtle in the strawberry.

The Nutrition

Now we've come to the part of our show that kills the buzz. The nutrition profile is abysmal in most of the plant based yogurts. Vanilla ingredients: Coconut Base (Water, Coconut Cream, Cane Sugar, Modified Tapioca Starch, Malic Acid, Natural Flavor, Vanilla Extract), Cultures. Strawberry ingredients: Coconut Base (Water, Coconut Cream, Modified Tapioca Starch, Cane Sugar, Natural Flavor, Malic Acid), Strawberries, Cane Sugar, Water, Natural Flavor, Pectin, Carrot Juice (for color), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Cultures.

I appreciate that there are no artificial colors added and they do state that the products are vegan, so I don't think we need to be concerned with the "cultures" or "natural flavor" in the ingredient list. The parts that disappointed me were the nutrition facts:

The Good & The Bad Good: same calories.

Bad: Nearly twice as much saturated fat because of the coconut. This is controversial, but I avoid it.

Good: no cholesterol in nondairy, significantly less sodium Bad: neither have fiber, both have a lot of added sugar Bad: almost no protein, no calcium, no vitamin D added Room for Improvement I think there are some great opportunities for improvement here. I would like to see a plant based source of calcium added (like Calcium Carbonate), vitamin D, pea protein, and maybe even some B12 (because most Americans are deficient in these). If I were a yogurt recipe developer, I would look to the Silk protein milk and/or oat milk ingredient list for inspiration. In conclusion those are my impressions and the nutrition facts. You can interpret them however you'd like and see how this fits into your diet/lifestyle. While the taste is delicious, it's essentially a vanilla pudding Snack Pack. But, the taste is good and the texture is outstanding. It's a good way to portion control a "treat" if you're more likely to grab some oreos, but I don't think this a nutritive part of a healthy diet.

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