“I was inspired to create Sophie Yogurt because I wanted to fuel my clients with a nourishing food that would sustain and satisfy them. I crafted the recipe at home and experimented until friends and clients agreed I’d hit upon a decadent treat that helped them stick to their healthy eating and fitness goals,” Pachella says.

Other flavors include Banana Cream Pie, Vanilla Bean, Plain and Plain without Fiber. Each 5.3-ounce container delivers 17 grams of protein and 90 to 140 calories, depending on variety. The flavored yogurts, along with plain, also contain 2.5 grams of fiber in the form of oligofructose.

Tula Foods Inc., Evanston, Ill., markets Better Whey of Life, said to be the first all-natural brand of Greek yogurt made with whey protein from grass-fed cows. In addition to the “made from whey” positioning, the product also comes in some interesting flavors: Acai Mixed Berry, Blackberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Goji Berry, Raspberry White Grape, Vanilla Bean and Plain.

According to the company, most Greek yogurts strain out the whey, but Better Whey of Life uses a unique process that retains the whey protein, enabling a distinct thick, smooth and silky yogurt with exceptional health benefits. This includes the presence of the branched-chain amino acid leucine, which is recognized for maintaining and building muscle, and at the same time burning fat.

Without a doubt, one of the underlying powers of all Greek yogurts lies in its higher protein content, an attribute that is especially appealing to male athletes. It’s no wonder that The Hain Celestial Group Inc., Melville, N.Y., owner of The Greek Gods brand, has teamed up with ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes.

To reacquaint consumers with Greek Gods yogurt, the company has launched a contest challenging consumers to create a two-minute video showcasing the product as part of a pre- or post-workout snack.


Beyond the yogurt cup

A number of dip manufacturers recognize the power of Greek yogurt – both in terms of nutritional value and creating a point of differentiation – and have started using it as a base ingredient. One of the original companies to do this was Future Food Brands, Dallas. The past year’s success has resulted in a new flavor that rolled out this past month. Santa Barbara Bay Spinach Feta Greek Yogurt Dip joins Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Asiago Cheese, Zesty Ranch, Cucumber Dill and French Onion.

“Creating products from fresh and flavorful ingredients is something we strive to do every day,” says Emily Alfano, director of marketing and new product development. “And based on the popularity of our other Greek Yogurt Dips, we fully expect Spinach Feta to become a big seller for us in the months ahead.”

Greek yogurt is also becoming more prominent in the freezer. Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington, Vt., rolled out pints and mini-cups of Greek frozen yogurt to grocery stores nationwide. (See Eat. Drink. Dairy., page 24.)

The Apollo Food Group LLC, Boston, rolled out Yasso Smoothies, an all-natural frozen Greek yogurt smoothie product sold in the freezer and intended for at-home blending. A single serving is prepared by blending 3.7 ounces of the product, which comes in three varieties (Mango Pineapple, Mixed Berry and Strawberry Banana), with 8 ounces of skim milk. The blended beverage is fat-free, low in sugar, and contains 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.