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Why This Chobani Let Snack Girl Down

April 3, 2014   79 Comments

Snack Girl likes to have a midmorning snack to keep the writing going. It is amazing how a little tummy rumble can distract.

Chobani Simply 100

Since I write about snacks, I have a bunch to take to work and one of my favorites is Greek yogurt. I typically buy FAGE when I see it on sale but I also like Chobani. I was running late for picking my children up from school when I bought this Chobani.

What is SO infuriating is that I make a living talking about reading labels, and I still get tricked into buying something that I didn’t want.

Here is what I read on the side of the label before tossing this into my cart:

No artificial sweeteners. is the line that I read and that meant to me that I would like this yogurt. I don’t have a problem with artificial sweeteners except for the taste. For those who are diabetic or need to cut way down on sugar, I realize these are a great option – but I avoid them.

I opened up my Chobani Simply 100 and took a bite. Yuck! What is going on? It has that fake artificial sweetener flavor. There can’t be sucralose in this?! A quick review of the ingredients led me to “Stevia Leaf Extract”. AHA!

Stevia leaf is not considered an “artificial” sweetener because it is derived from a leaf instead of a chemical reaction. But, it isn’t sugar or honey or maple syrup. I suppose you might call it a sweet flavoring agent with no calories. The problem, for me, is that it TASTES like an artificial sweetener.

Also, there is an argument to be made that stevia is also a chemical compound that is highly processed. At what point does the sweetener extracted from a plant via a chemical process become an “artificial flavor”? Sometimes these definitions seem arbitrary to me.

I wrote about the manufacturing of stevia here: Is Stevia/Truvia/PureVia A Safe Sweetener? I stick by my assertion that stevia is to be consumed in moderation.

Chobani is allowed to call “stevia leaf extract” a natural sweetener and I am now stuck standing in the yogurt aisle reading the ingredients list every time I buy something. I bought THREE of these and I am going to have to find someone who likes them.

What do you think of stevia in yogurt?


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79 Comments:

I don't mind the flavor of stevia and prefer NuNaturals brand. It seems to me to be a better alternative than sugar. I do read labels on yogurt (or just about anything questionable) as it's often surprising what is advertised and what is actually on the label.

on April 3, 2014

I fell for that too. Im glad I'm not the only one

on April 3, 2014

While I do not object to the taste of Stevia I do object to its inclusion in Chobani. Like you, I trusted the company to be forthright and honest with its yogurt. So based on my new impression of how they conduct themselves when it comes to labeling, I feel they let you (and me) down. That is a mark-down in grade.

on April 3, 2014

I get the plane Cnobani greek. very low in Carbs, I add a small amount of frozen blue berries, If you like it a little sweeter a tad of healthy honey will work.

on April 3, 2014

Love Chobani 100. For 2 points plus it is a much better alternative than the one that WW endorses.Mostly natural ingredients ....

on April 3, 2014

I also despise the taste of any artificial sweeteners. I consider Stevia "artificial" because it tastes artificial. I would rather eat unsweetened, plain yogurt with only added fruit or vanilla extract.

on April 3, 2014

Nasty, I don't care for the taste of it. Yes I read all the labels , I can't even enjoy any red flavored yogurt berry, etc. Because of the crushed up little bugs they use for color. That can't be safe. Ughhhhh!

on April 3, 2014

Plain yogurt is the way to go. Fage is my first choice because I can add my own sweetener, usually honey or I can make a dip for veggies with other spices. Stevia is not my favorite. Agreed on the taste. It's distinct. It's better in an iced tea if I've no other choice!

on April 3, 2014

What about Chobani producing Greek yogurt with milk from cows fed with GMO animal feed? I used to live on Chobani, but I refuse to purchase it after I learned about their refusal to eliminate genetically engineered material from their products.

on April 3, 2014

So glad I'm not the only one who says "yuck" to Stevia. To me, it has an awful aftertaste, not unlike aspertame. I agree that the labelling is deceptive, but as soon as you see the "100 Calories" for a fruit-flavored yogurt, be suspicious.

on April 3, 2014

My rule is nothing touting ''natural'' on the label as it has proven to be meaningless and just a form of deceptive labeling. With yogurt I stick to plain organic and add my own fruit, occasional sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, nuts, etc. To make it convenient, I purchase a doz. half-pint Ball jars and screw on lids [to replace the 2-piece canning lids], put frozen/fresh fruit on the bottom, then maybe a sweetener if needed, yogurt, then maybe homemade granola or plain nuts. I make up a 4 days' supply. I find Stonyfield's plain to be very thick too.

on April 3, 2014

Siggi's Icelandic skyr is by far my favorite yogurt!

on April 3, 2014

i am glad Snack Girl that you brough it up, since i was tempted to buy a whole packet of stivia to replace other kinds of artificial sweeteners, it was "purely disgusting" and i could not make myself use it. the natural kind that i tried (dried leaves) in the past weren't any better.

on April 3, 2014

I can taste artificial sweeteners blindfolded and Stevia is included. Most yogurts are so fake tasting and consumers are completely misled into thinking it is a healthy choice now that manufacturers like Chobani "fool" us into believing that. I also do not like inulin being added to Chobani and many others.

on April 3, 2014

So sorry that you got rooked with the Chobani 100. I know how easily it can happen to the best of us. I know about Chaboni (the GMO factor) and the Stevia but I still choose their brand even over Siggi's (which texture I adore). I'm totally into the 2% coconut right now (4ppl). I also adore the chobani coconut with dark choc pieces and slivered almonds (a giant 6 ppl but so worth it). I flirted with making my own yogurt but I got turn off when I realized it takes 5c milk to make 1.5 c greek yogurt.

on April 3, 2014

Thank you Snack Girl I thought I was the only one who fell for this. I also bought these and was mortified with the taste. Stevia gives me an awful headache so I felt terrible after only one spoonful. I was very saddened with Chobani.

on April 3, 2014

I also fell for this. I read that it had no artifical sweetener and thought great, this is for me! As soon as I tasted it I knew it was false advertising.

on April 3, 2014

I bought this one too. Took one bite gagged and tossed it in the trash. DISGUSTING!!

on April 3, 2014

I returned the rest of the 4 pack to Target. They asked if anything was wrong with it and I said it tastes terrible. I'm not spending almost $4 on something to throw it out.

on April 3, 2014

I too was disappointed in the taste and will not buy it again.

on April 3, 2014

A few things...

The fact that Stevia is processed doesn't make it an artificial sweetener - it makes it a processed sweetener. White sugar is also highly processed, but is not artificial. So Chobani is not guilty of anything dishonest here.

I agree that it would be helpful if Chobani would have clearly labeled "sweetened with Stevia" simply so those who don't like it could avoid the purchase. But to be fair, it's on the label. It's not hidden or anything.

Finally, I believe there is a huge world of difference between processed Stevia, which was used safely for years in Japan, and Sucralose, which had virtually no real trials at all and was approved by the FDA for use without proof of safety simply because it was "made from sugar."

As a caveat, I don't really eat much stevia, because like others, I don't like the taste. I agree with the poster above who said the best idea is to buy plain organic yogurt and add whatever you want to it. I have been eating a bit of maia yogurt because it's not too sweet. But most flavored yogurts have so much sugar dumped in...I can't take it.

on April 3, 2014

I fell for this too. I hate that the options of "fast, easy, snack" or "grab and go" are filled with artificial sweeteners over half the time. If I dont have fruit on hand or string cheese, I reach for low fat yogurt or a granola bar and they are both horrible options as far as processed junk goes. Frustrating. :)

on April 3, 2014

I agree, I tried this and was totally grossed out!

Thank you for a great blog!

on April 3, 2014

Personally, I am okay with Stevia or other sweeteners, in yogurt or anything else, but I think the labeling was misleading. They are not technically lying, but regardless of the sweetener, if it includes a sweetener (Stevia, table sugar, honey, agave) that is not naturally present, in my mind that makes it an "artificial sweetener."

Using Chobani's reasoning (that Stevia isn't artifical sweetening because it is a "natural product") they could add hemlock or nightshade. Both would "natural" flavorings. Deadly....but natural.

I guess all I ask for is clear labels. I want to be able to decide what I am going to eat based on what is in the container, and "loop-hole labeling" does not help.

on April 3, 2014

Most artificial sweeteners, with exception of splenda, taste disgusting to me. ANd I've learned long ago that yogurt isn't always healthy and def read the labels.

However to note in your past article on Stevia, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is NOT a scientific group. It is not run by scientists nor do they hold their standards up to scientific method or peer review. THis group was founded by activist lawyers who worked for Ralph Nader.

More info on them:

http://bit.ly/1eemzWJ

"We take issue with (CSPI's) sensationalist and alarmist tone. Numerous CSPI press releases seem to be 'more of a vendetta than an objective presentation of the facts.'"

--Tufts University Nutrition Navigator.

on April 3, 2014

Well I see that I'm in the minority here but I like stevia and I'm glad to know that when I don't have time to make my own....there is an alternative.

on April 3, 2014

Two WW points is just right for me to snack on. I don't mind the Stevia taste and honey, sugar, maple syrup would add too many calories. Wish I liked it plain but it's too sour for me.

on April 3, 2014

I, too, am very senstive to the taste of artificial sweeteners - I would rather use sugar than "chemicals" in my food!!!

on April 3, 2014

I bought one of these and was so disappointed in the flavor. I like the flavor of the regular Chobani, but the sugar grams a higher than I want in my yogurt.

on April 3, 2014

Thanks for the review of this Chobani. That's definitely something I would not like and I will stay away!

on April 3, 2014

Yuck! Too me Stevia taste far worse than Aspartame

on April 3, 2014

I have a dairy intolerance so I do not even eat yogurt. However, to the point of stevia, I have been using it for years after a very reputable nutritionist suggested that I try it as a safe alternative to Splenda, saccharin and Nutrasweet. I personally prefer it over the sugar alcohols such as xylitol or malitol as they typically offend my gut.

on April 3, 2014

I don't care for Stevia in anything! It seems like a bit of

trickery to call it a natural sweetener, but I guess the bottom line is that we need to broaden our interpretation of "natural" and we've got to read labels!

on April 3, 2014

I just don't understand some things! I am right now eating a Greek yogurt under the Winn Dixie store brand that is "only natural ingredients". It contains sugar and honey and is only 100 calories for 6 oz. And they were only $1 each. What am I missing with these name brands adding all these fancy ingredients and charging too much?

on April 3, 2014

i usually make my own yogurt it is so easy really. fill several glass cups with 3/4 of milk, add two spoons of a regular white yogurt of your choice, swirle and mix until blended well, cover with clinging film, put in a slightly hot place like an oven (just warmish, not hot) and let it sit for some 6 hours, depending on the weather. if wishing to hurry it, warth the oven or a bowl with hot water and let it sit it it for a while more, this needs some expereincing, but eventually it will thicken and then simply chill and add pieces of fruit and sweeten as you like. gems can be added, brankflex etc. can be used for cake mixes as well or anything else.

on April 3, 2014

“So far, stevia appears to be the safest sweetener,” says Amen. “There are no negative recent studies, and some evidence that stevia can be helpful in stabilizing blood sugar.”

"...it seemed to help prevent heart disease, at least in mice.

Stevia may be helpful for high blood pressure as well. A two-year study of 147 adults with mild hypertension showed that stevioside not only improved their blood pressure compared to the placebo group, but had no significant side effects."

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/stevia-safer-sw…

I used Stevia long before it became commercially available. Except for not mixing well, I thought the taste was fine.

I have not had a sugary soda since the 70's and have avoided sweets and pastries most of my life and still got diabetes.

Certain medications, stress, genetics and other triggers can cause diabetes.

There are articles on producing stevia yourself if anyone is interested.

The ADA is not so sure that stevia regulates blood sugar although there are differing opinions on the subject. I don't consider stevia artificial. The process used is clearly a safe one using a water extraction process.

"However, unlike the process used with the artificial sweetener aspartame, adds Amen, “stevia extract undergoes ultrafiltration to remove those alcohols. The result is a safer, less processed sweetener.”"

Given the alternatives, I think this is a great sugar substitute. If you don't like the flavor, try buying it in the powdered form and you will see the flavor is the same. Personally, I like it and was glad to see it has been made into a crystalized form for easier assimilation into my tea or coffee.

on April 3, 2014

Just buy organic and save yourself stress and grief.

on April 3, 2014

Is it only the simply 100 that has the stevia in it? My pineapple 2% doesn't have it in it...

on April 3, 2014

Thanks so much for the info on Chobani Snack Girl! The GMO is a NO GO for me to buy their products anymore ANYWAY. Last year a new yogurt came out - Noosa - and it is pretty much delicious but the sugar content can be as high as 29g, depending on the flavors. I never really noticed until recently when I started my own company Java Raiz, that cholesterol and sodium levels in yogurts varied immensely. Maybe you could do a write-up on that topic to help get us more educated on what to look for to be more aware of the limits on grams for potentially dangerous health problems?

on April 3, 2014

Is Truvia much like Stevia? It is a leaf extract apparently.

Are Truvia and Stevia better than Splenda & Sweet n' Lo? What is the deal with all these sweeteners? Sucralose seems to be in any drink that claims to have nothing artificial - sounds artificial to me! Anything with "lose" is sugar, right? Fructose etc. Is Aspertame the bad guy here? I'm confused!

on April 3, 2014

Chobani also doesn't contain the live, active yogurt cultures that makes yogurt a truly healthy food. I gave up on them awhile back for this and many of the reasons others have mentioned.

on April 3, 2014

I try to avoid sugar all together and actually love stevia. I have tried several brands, and things like Truvia usually are highly processed forms of the plant, so I don't use those. I buy a bulk stevia online where nothing else like maltodextrin is added.

That said, many of my family members do not like the taste of stevia and I can understand your disappointment.

on April 3, 2014

I also grabbed it without reading the label since I trusted Chobani. There is chicory root fiber in it too, which I don't care for. Very disappointed.

on April 3, 2014

Is monk fruit any healthier? I tried it and it

does not taste as artificial to my tastebuds.

on April 3, 2014

Bought Stevia and hated it- taste artificial to me as well. I buy the regular chobani but after reading the post about not being non-GMO, will not buy again.

on April 3, 2014

My complaint is,,,you can't find full fat yogurt anymore. Even cottage cheese. It's all low or non fat....come on,,,real yogurt should not be nonfat. Nonfat foods are worse for you. Just eat less. I cook with a lot of sourcrean and yogurt and you need the fat to make a great sauce. I watched the food network show THE KITCHEN and at the end of the show the chefs say what they are over! and what they are into! now. One chef brought up the question of how you can't buy full fat yogurt anymore,,,so more people find this a problem these days...You want to say"Hey, everbody isn't on a diet"! I remember when yogurt just came out in this country and boy, was it delicious. Not anymore...too many artificial ingrediets and sugar....it is probably more fattening than the reg. Everyone worries about FAT but it ain't the fat that makes us fat it's aditives and SUGAR in all forms, and eatting too much!

on April 3, 2014

Have you ever reviewed Siggi's Yogart - I would love to know how it oholds up on close review.

on April 3, 2014

I did not care for the taste either, I was really hoping to fall in love with these but no such luck!

on April 3, 2014

I can't tolerate any artificial sweeteners - and I've tried them ALL! I have three typical reactions to them: screaming headache, nausea, or diarrhea. Oh yeah, that's tons of fun wrapped in a nasty taste I can ALWAYS detect!

But beyond that, I've stopped eating yogurt from the stores completely. I just can't get beyond the MASSIVE amounts of sugar they all seem to have!

on April 3, 2014

Man this just makes me feel extra sad because once again we're reminded that in the marketing world, "technicality" is everything. Just seriously, all kinds of wrong. D:

Side note, I preordered your new book~ i got the gift package today and funnily enough, I totally forgot about it so when I got the slip from FedexExpress, i was freaking out thinking I got some kind of major bill or something. The guy at Fedex was also messing with me and told me I have to pay $50 to pickup the package LOL. it took me until i opened it when I realized that it was. XD It's not April Fool's Day but your book's marketing package got me good! LOL

on April 3, 2014

i have learned that anytime the food makers feel the need to write "Natural" on the label, there is something odd going on in river city.

I like the stevia plant, i grow it in the summer in a pot, it is great to toss in some iced tea with peppermint leaves, but the powdered yuck in the stores is nasty imo. Even the green unprocessed as much stuff is nasty i think.

Natural is not natural after all, in fact it is usually chemicals.

on April 3, 2014

MAKE YOUR OWN!!! Really, all i see are complaints about sugar and this and that. It is so easy to make your own, why are you not doing it?

on April 3, 2014

I was another person who fell for this. Never again! And now that I know about the GMOs I am thinking about switching brands (I do enjoy Stonyfield organic yogurt)which is a shame because I live in upstate New York and consider Chobani a "local" company worthy of my support.

on April 3, 2014

Artificial sweeteners are a migraine trigger for me so I avoid them like the plague. Stevia does not seem to trigger the migraines, but I still avoid it as I think it tastes horrible and I associate things that taste of artificial sweeteners with headaches. I have been fooled by this too and it really frustrates me because there are people out there who legitimately cannot consume this stuff without adverse side effects.

on April 3, 2014

Snack Girl, I took your advice awhile ago to put a small amount of jam into plain Greek yogurt. Everyone I know is starting to do this, too! It is perfect because you can adjust the amount of flavoring/sweetness to your personal taste, and it always will end up being less sugar than a flavored cup of yogurt. Our current favorites are the organic "jammin" fruit spreads from Wegman's brand, which only have 5 or 6 grams of sugar per TBSP (compared with other jams which are around 10, and flavored yogurts which can be twice that amount). We just don't bother with flavored yogurt anymore, thanks to you!

on April 3, 2014

I tried a Chobani yoghurt for the first tine a few months ago after seeing/hearing so much hype about it.. It was disgustingly sweet. Never again :-/

on April 3, 2014

.

on April 3, 2014

I stick with Truvia as a sweetener and just plain ol honey. Always add a tbsp of ground flax (my husband hates this) plus a couple walnuts. A new addition turns everything "Spring Green" and boosts energy too ... Spiriluna. Try it yourself!

on April 3, 2014

Hate it. Tastes fake. I threw out a yogurt after one taste! Makes me shiver (and not in a good way).

on April 3, 2014

You can send the Chobani Simply 100 my way. I love it and since it is only 100 calories and all natural, it is my yogurt of choice. It is a winner in my book. High in protein and high in fiber is great for anytime, morning, noon, and night, as it fills me up.

on April 4, 2014

I like the Chicory Root Fiber(inulin). It is a prebiotic and it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. It is non gmo and very healthy. There are many studies showing the benefits. Simply 100 is a great way to get protein for satiety and fiber to close the fiber gap.

on April 4, 2014

Those sneaky little so and so's lol. I have to watch out for that one. You learn something new everyday. Hope you find someone to eat those 3 yogurts :)

on April 5, 2014

I agree, tried it once and realized there was Stevia in it. Love Chobani, but will not buy the 100 again ever.

on April 5, 2014

I agree. I can't stand the taste of artificial sweeteners. It is really a let down because I loved flavored water but almost all of it has some sort of sweetener.

I once tried to make myself like them but artificial sweeteners also give me headaches. Thanks for the heads up!

on April 6, 2014

@Dee: Siggi's yogurt was reviewed here:

https://snack-girl.com/snack/siggis-versus-yoplait/

on April 7, 2014

Wondering why do you use Fage? They use corn starch and Xanthan Gum in their products. What makes it better? Don't you think a little bit of stevia leaf extract is better than all the added thickeners? Just curious and on your thoughts of what yogurt you would consider to be the healthiest brand overall.

on April 8, 2014

Nowhere on my container of plain flavor FAGE does it list cornstarch or xanthan gum on the list of ingredients. So I am not sure how this rumor got started unless it is in the flavored which I never buy.

Both Xanthan gum and corn starch are derived from plants as well as stevia and used as thickening agents in many foods. I don't see a problem with any of them. Xanthan gum is often used in products for those allergic to wheat products. It is a thickener and a stabilizer. Xanthan gum is a polysaccaride (a common source of energy) from a bacteria and cultured on wheat, soy, or corn mediums.

Why don't you make kefir. It is easy. Put the kefir grains in a clean jar, add milk, wait 24 to 36 hours, eat, repeat.

Kefir has about 3 times the probiotics of yogurt and makes great smoothies.

on April 8, 2014

Late to the party here, but I grew Stevia plants in my herb garden a few summers back. Just touching the leaves made my hands taste sweet. Now, you never know what additional processing it goes through to get in the yogurt, but we dried and ground up the leaves and put it in everything as sweetener that year.

on April 26, 2014

Thank you for your insight Snack Girl. I'm curious why wouldn't you know about Stevia Leaf Extract before purchasing the product? Is this a new form of sweetner?

on April 29, 2014

I loved the chobani 100s, and they don't taste weird to me at all, but I've used stevia as a plant and as a liquid for probably 15 years. I get sick from sweeteners in a variety of ways, including truvia (which isn't really stevia). But pure stevia itself does not make me sick. I'm not sure how they got away with putting in stevia leaf extract because last I knew, the only thing the FDA had approved as a sweetener, was in the form of truvia. What is not approved as a sweetener, is what I can eat. I also grow organic stevia and steep the leaves with mint to make sweet mint tea.

on April 29, 2014

I recently bought the generic box of Truvia a few days ago and love it. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste but not unpleasant. Of course, I am used to drinking Chinese herbal teas some of which are really bitter especially aurantium. So, this is nothing on that score.

I like the small packages and that I have need less than the Splenda that I previously used.

This blend contains erythritol that is a sugar alcohol achieved using a yeast and glucose fermentation. It occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. Perfectly natural in my book. This particular sugar alcohol does not cause the digestive upset in most people and is recommended for diabetics on a diabetic site I belong to. It also does not cause tooth decay. Only 10% of erythritol reaches the colon and most of it is excreted in the urine so it rarely causes digestive discomfort.

on April 30, 2014

Chobani yogurts (various flavors) at one were my favorite go-to snack. Until I unknowingly picked/ate the 100 calorie version. How awful!! Gave it a 2nd/3rd try and remains bad tasting... What a shame.

on May 15, 2014

Real Stevia is not the same as Truvia and other brands that America tries to make a profit off of. They would not originally approve of organic Stevia years ago you had to just buy online. Well, I saw why because Truvia came out...they wanted to make money. It doesn't taste the same as organic Stevia!!

on May 25, 2014

Barbara: I agree 100% with your comment about all this fat-free dairy. Additionally, if we keep to ''organic'' we can do away with many of the ''news scares'' actually scaring us.

As I'm in the ''right to know'' camp on labeling, I detest corruption in food companies, such as Chobani, who say ''natural'' [a completely meaningless word used to confuse and take over organic-seekers] and use GMO's but aren't labeling that fact. I stick with organic or non-mainstream brands. Another deception in yogurt is frozen yogurt.

on May 26, 2014

I am very sensitive to the chemical tastes of all artificial sweeteners, and the package of Stevia I bought went right in the garbage. I'd rather ingest natural sugars and eat less of them. The fewer calories just aren't worth it. I'd skip the snack completely before I'd eat these products.

on June 22, 2014

I get the whole stevia thing but is monk fruit extract also considered "artificial" in the world of sweeteners and can you consider it to be safe. I bought some and it tastes artificial so I am wondering for future reference.

on July 14, 2014

Luckily I only bought 1. I can totally taste the artificial sweeteners and it's gross. Making myself finish it though as it's the only snack I have here at work. I will stick with the regular chobani from now on.

on August 14, 2014

I accidentally bought the Chobani 100 flip cup and didn't realize it. Until I thought--self--why does this taste so completely AWFUL. Then I realized and was mad I bought 3 of these bad boys. The fake sweetner flavor is TERRIBLE. Would prefer unsweetened--seriously it is awful.

on June 21, 2016

I love the Chobani Simply 100 products! I just bought 8 more today. Low calories and all natural. One of the best things is the fiber. I try to eat a high fiber diet and the Simply 100 products help me get there.

on June 22, 2016


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