Greek Yogurt Craze: Worth The Extra Money?

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Greek yogurt is now one of the fastest growing food segments. Sales exceed a billion dollars a year.

But this thicker version of yogurt is more expensive than traditional yogurt. Some consumers wonder why they are paying more.

Rachel Wells is a big fan of Greek yogurt. “I eat it for breakfast. I eat if for lunch. I eat it in between. I bought an extra tub of this yesterday so I could bring it to work.”

It was staple during and after last pregnancy. “I am at my pre-baby weight and this is what I have been eating consistently,” she added.

Sales are so brisk, manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with demand. Michael Harrad of Yoplait explained, “We have launched manufacturing capabilities. We’ve added product lines.”

Greek yogurt requires more milk during the manufacturing process than regular yogurt. It can easily cost 50% more.

Joan Salge Blake, a professor of nutrition at Boston University, believes it is worth the higher price. “It’s a calcium source. It’s higher in protein. The number one motivator of food choice is taste, so if people love it, they will eat it.”

The higher concentration of protein is what is helping dieters. Salge Blake explained, “That’s a big plus because protein can increase the feeling of fullness. When you are having something higher in protein, it will help you last longer.”

That increases the chance you will make it to lunch without a mid-morning donut. Or in Rachel’s case, pass along something good to her kids. “It’s not about me, or what I eat. It’s about what they get from me. I will pay whatever I need to pay to make sure my kids are eating well.”

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