Our pick for the best house brand yogurt in every category
American consumers have approached a golden age of yogurt, and like any good grocery train, Trader Joe’s fully embraces its spot on the bandwagon. In the years since the American Yogurt Enlightenment dawned, the beloved retailer has helped transform the unfamiliar into everyday, adopting varieties from the old continent (Kefir! Skyr! Greek!) and novel flavors like Avocado Citrus.
All those options can be a little overwhelming, especially if fermented milk doesn’t make up at least 20 percent of your diet. Luckily, we’ve spared you the cost and effort of trying every store-brand variety.
Best Plain: Trader Joe’s Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
This batch is the ultimate pick for simplicity, equally good beneath berries for breakfast as it is atop a quesadilla or bowl of chili as a sour cream substitute. Texture-wise, it’s a balance between European Style’s more liquid feel and the Iceland Style Nonfat Yogurt’s thickness. My only criticism is that it doesn’t come in bigger tubs.
Worst Plain: Trader Joe’s Iceland Style Nonfat Yogurt
While it’s true that skyr just isn’t for everyone, it’s also annoying when a yogurt is so thick it makes your mouth feel dry. As a heavily strained, lowfat yogurt, this one does.
Best Dessert: Trader Joe’s Chocolate European Style Lowfat Yogurt
With its café-style label, this gives the eater a sophisticated feeling—European flair, if you will. The yogurt is slightly tart on its own, so stirring to distribute the syrup at the bottom of the cup is essential. For more worldly vibes, pick up the Mocha flavor too.
Best and Worst Non-Dairy: Trader Joe’s Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt
To tell the truth, Trader Joe’s doesn’t have many dairy-free options in this department. Their Soy Yogurt is discontinued, leaving only Coconut, which has a somewhat gelatinous texture. Additionally, the coconut milk base overpowers any added flavor, so don’t expect any other taste.
Best Kid-Friendly: Trader Joe’s Whole Milk Yogurt Cups
These little babies are definitely for children. They are also definitely delicious and a stellar addition to lunch boxes and hastily prepared grocery bag meals alike. The peach flavor (which is unquestionably the best—it comes in a pack with mango, which comes closer) is smooth like custard and sugary enough to secure a spot on both kids’ and adults’ all-time favorite yogurts.
Best Offbeat Flavor: Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Greek Whole Milk Yogurt
The American yogurt renaissance entered the area of unconventional flavors a while back, so it was only a matter of time before matcha mania invaded Greek yogurt. It’s got a malty profile, much like fro-yo that actually retains its yogurt-like properties (i.e. Pinkberry).
Best Smoothie: Trader Joe’s Organic Lowfat Yogurt Probiotic Smoothie
It’s like the Danimals smoothie of days past, but with a more fulfilling texture and flavor. If you’re looking to satiate hunger pangs quickly, this is your go-to.
Worst Smoothie: Trader Joe’s Low Fat Kefir
To be fair, the drinkable yogurt category just comes down to a matter of preference. We happen to prefer drinkable yogurt that’s not so tart and watery.
Worst Flavor: Trader Joe’s Nonfat Pomegranate Greek
From the packaging to the texture, everything about this yogurt is flimsy. Neither pomegranate nor Greek yogurt are bad foods, but the two are just not compatible in a watery cup that doesn’t feel creamy or even no matter how many times you stir it.