Rise of the Greeks

In the past year or so, I’ve become a huge convert to Greek yogurt.  I’ve loved yogurt for as long as I can remember and now I pretty much only eat Greek yogurt.  I used to be annoyed at the fact that costs 50-100% more, but one night I did a little research and I don’t feel as bad.  The reason it is so good (i.e., smooth and creamy) is that it actually uses twice as much milk per ounce of yogurt as regular yogurt.  That also gives it twice the much-appreciated protein.  Hard to argue with that.  And just yesterday, I discovered that Food Lion is now selling a well-disguised house brand at a bargain rate and it’s actually really good.

All that by preface of saying that there was an interesting article in TNR about the rise of Greek yogurt.  The main theme was the triumph of marketing, as people associate “Greek” foods with a healthy, mediterranean diet.  Turns out, the we’re actually getting central European yogurt, but hey, who wants to buy “Bulgarian style” yogurt.  Chobani, my go-to brand, is actually made with an old Turkish recipe.   Truth is, if you like yogurt, the Greek style is just a better product.  Personally, I don’t care what they call it.  Still interesting to see how a food can completely take off with the right marketing.   The increased milk use means that Greek-style yogurt will always be more expensive, but as it gains in popularity, there will certainly be much less of a price premium on it.  And if you’ve never tried it, you should.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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