General Mills reduces sugar in Yoplait

by Monica Watrous
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The reformulated yogurt contains more protein, fewer calories and 25% less sugar.

MINNEAPOLIS — Yoplait’s cup has runneth over with recipe tweaks and reformulations in recent years as General Mills, Inc. aims to align the yogurt brand with consumer health trends. Most recently, the company has reduced sugar in the Yoplait Original line by 25%.

The new recipe, now with 20 fewer calories and an additional gram of protein per 6-oz serving, was developed over three years with more than 70 General Mills employees working on a variety of product improvements. To reduce the sugar, the team added milk and changed the natural flavorings. The new Yoplait Original tastes slightly less sweet but still contains no artificial sweeteners or flavors, the company said.

The latest iteration of the product line follows Yoplait’s removal of high-fructose corn syrup and the discontinued use of dairy with rBGH/rBST growth hormone in 2009.

“Our consumers are our top priority, and when they voiced concerns over the amount of sugar in our products we were determined to find a solution,” said Susan Pitt, marketing manager for Yoplait. “We understand that making good nutritional choices isn’t always easy. With less sugar, fewer calories and more protein per cup, we have no doubt that our renovated line of Yoplait Original yogurts will make it easier than ever for our consumers to feel good about their daily yogurt choice.”

The reformulated Yoplait Original line has 150 calories (down from 170), 6 grams of protein (up from 5), 2 grams of fat (up from 1.5) and 18 grams of sugar (down from 26).

General Mills also recently removed artificial colors and flavors from the brand’s children’s yogurts and dropped aspartame from the Yoplait Light line of reduced-calorie yogurts.

“Consumer-first renovation, innovation and investment have returned our overall U.S. yogurt business to sales and profit growth,” said Kendall J. Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, during a March 18 earnings call. “We are now the fastest-growing of the major yogurt manufacturers, and we are gaining share at an accelerating pace...”
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READER COMMENTS (24)

By Steve 7/20/2015 11:00:13 AM
Does the ingredient statement list "sucralose"? If so, this likely is from where the chemical taste is originating.

By Steve 7/20/2015 10:44:21 AM
Does the ingredient statement list "sucralose"? If so, this likely is from where the chemical taste is originating.

By Freddie 7/19/2015 11:25:28 PM
Hate to pile on -- but I tried the new "Originals" and thought that maybe I could live with it. but Then had to give up. Not just because the sweetness is less, but there's a weird chemically taste to it now, and also the Texture is not right. The silky smoothness is gone. But I can't wait to hear what their sales figures look like. (I still buy a few though, to mix into a yogurt drink. But I won't just eat it straight from the cup).

By Steve 7/16/2015 12:57:02 PM
I do feel bad a little for General Mills. On one hand, you have people like Bloomberg attacking the food industry for having too much sugar in food. The govt. has done its best to vilify added sugar. So, you have GM trying to do the "right thing" and lower sugar quantity. Some vocal consumers who buy Yoplait don't like the reduced sugar version. So matter what Gen Mills does, it is wrong.

By Rosa 7/14/2015 10:36:13 AM
I thought the yogurt tasted fine. Not sure why so many people say its awful. I've tried 3 kinds; peach, blueberry, and strawberry banana. I thought it was too sweet before.

By Condor Castle 7/9/2015 7:48:51 PM
The new 25% less sugar tastes terrible. I have an swallowing disorder and was eating 2 to 3 yogurts a day. I need the calories. If you want offer a new less sugar product fine, but still offer the original. You already have a low calorie product. I have switched to another brand and add my own sugar. I loved you brand but you lost me on this new formula.

By Ray 7/9/2015 10:47:01 AM
The first time I tried the "new " formula with less sugar, I immediately looked at the expiration date. It was well within the edible time frame. Then I thought it had spoiled somehow. I tried another cup, same result. That was a very poor business decision to change the taste in order to remove 25% of the sugar and reducing the calories by 20. Looking at the number of complaints against the new formula, I have to wonder about the taste test they claim to have conducted. As a 15 year user, Yoplait has lost my business.

By Karin 7/7/2015 2:19:37 PM
I used to buy the Yoplait original yogurt on a regular basis. Cherry was my favorite. I tried the new one and couldn't finish it because of the weird texture and awful flavor. It also had a chemical-like aftertaste. I haven't bought one since and am trying to find a replacement (Wallaby, Trader Joe's, and Brown Cow have been good alternatives for me). In looking at the Yoplait Facebook page, there are TONS of people who feel the same way. Yoplait is losing a lot of customers but it doesn't sound like they are going to do anything about it, so those of us that used to buy their product are now finding better tasting alternatives. You had plenty of low-cal varieties of yogurts--why change the one that everyone liked? Very bad move!

By Joyce Brauer 6/22/2015 9:18:43 AM
The new product tastes terrible with only a savings of 20 calories. Why ruin an established product with unwanted changes? The company already has a light version. If people want to save calories they can buy that. The change was a bad idea. It is unfair to the buying public to foist a new product on them under the label of an established one. Your customer base loses faith in your product. The name for it is Bait & Switch. Shame on General Mills for trying to dupe the public. A new formula is a new product not the "original". They may have been the fastest growing company in the yogurt market but I suspect things will be going in the other direction after this. If you check Yoplait's own Facebook page you will see the majority of the comments about the new 25% less sugar product are negative.

By Stephanie Rose 6/21/2015 10:16:05 AM
I love all the negative comments about the appalling decision to change the sugar content and,yet,continue to call it Original! I,like so many others,have eaten Yoplait everyday for 20+yrs.. I immediately e-mailed their website to complain and received a vapid response saying my comment will be forwarded to the appropriate manufacturer and/or store where I purchased this product. My advice is to try DANNON (fruit on the bottom type) yogurt and we can all collectively jinx Yoplait.

By Susan 6/18/2015 8:41:46 PM
Today I ate my first and last new Original Yoplait yogurt. The taste and texture is absolutely terrible. I can't believe the yogurt I have been eating for the past 15 years is gone for good. Unfortunately, so is this customer.

By Susan 6/18/2015 8:28:31 PM
Today I ate my first and last new Original Yoplait yogurt. The taste and texture is absolutely terrible. I can't believe the yogurt I have been eating for the past 15 years is gone for good. Unfortunately, so is this customer.

By Eric 6/15/2015 3:40:56 PM
The new 'Original' has a yucky flavor and a yucky texture, plus more fat & more sodium. When I complained I was told their taste tests showed people who eat enough of it get used to it. I had bought 10 (because I didn't notice the changed packaging) and had to force myself to finish them. No more. So sad.

By Gretchen Gandt 6/13/2015 10:24:16 AM
I was looking forward to 25% less sugar. But I swear I taste Splenda or stevia in it. Bleccch. I was ready for less sweet, great, but the new formulation tastes vile. We buy 10 cups a week and eat it almost everyday (original). We won't any more, I am so sorry for this change. GG

By Chris 6/10/2015 6:20:06 AM
Hate it. Family used to eat 4 a day. Now family will be eating something else. 'nuff said.

By Dan Sweeney 6/3/2015 11:26:22 PM
The NEW yoplait now called the origonal taste horrible. The 25% less sugar has killed it. You atleast will save money on packageing because no one will buy it. Please let me know if this is not the correct address to let yoplait know about their now bad product. Thanks.

By Laurie 5/29/2015 11:32:19 AM
Hi! I have always enjoyed your Yoplait (Regular) until now. I am not resistant to change, but I am not enjoying the new taste of the 25% less sugar Yoplait. It tastes artificial to me. I truly wish you would return to your "classic"/ "original" recipe post 2009. Thank you!

By Laurie 5/29/2015 11:32:09 AM
Hi! I have always enjoyed your Yoplait (Regular) until now. I am not resistant to change, but I am not enjoying the new taste of the 25% less sugar Yoplait. It tastes artificial to me. I truly wish you would return to your "classic"/ "original" recipe post 2009. Thank you!

By Bill 5/13/2015 8:46:03 AM
I've been eating about 5 Yoplait yogurts a week for around 20 years. I noticed the yellow stripe and bought just one of a flavor I eat very regularly. I found it a poor substitute for the product it replaced - it had an odd taste almost like it had artificial sweeteners even though it doesn't. I bought all the "Classic" ones I could find in my favorite flavors but just (five minutes ago) ate the last and all the stores now stock are the reduced sugar ones. I won't be buying any more Yoplait yogurt I fear. The comments comparing this to New Coke are apt. The difference is, unlike Coke, Yoplait likely doesn't have the media visibility or advertising budget of Coke to recover from this disaster. Even if Yoplait fixed this faux pas, how would they let me know? And, what would the ad look like? Perhaps "Our Yogurt sucked for a while, it's all better now and is loaded with sugar, please come back?" One wonders why General Mills took a perfectly good product which, partially by being a traditional rather than "Greek" yogurt, was already struggling for shelf space and alienate their remaining loyal customers. Were potential customers of Yoplait actually clamoring for "reduced sugar"? If so, is a 25% reduction really going to satisfy those potential customers and convert them into actual customers? Obviously those of us who had been buying the product were pretty happy with it. I suspect this is just road kill in a mindless corporate "initiative" to reduce sugar in everything at General Mills to respond to the "fad concern of the year". Perhaps some executive was able to tick off one check box on his objectives for 2015 - but the irony is that he will get fired for a mysterious drop of sales within a year.

By Daniel 5/11/2015 10:35:06 AM
This used to be my favorite yogurt that I could rely on as all of this Greek garbage crept into the market. Then one day I picked up my usual assortment, not noticing the yellow warning stripe on it. The moment I tasted it I thought it had gone bad, but no, they switched it while calling it the same. If I wanted less sugar, I would buy less sugar yogurt. This is "New Coke" all over again, but with yogurt. If you don't change it back, your sales will drop massively. I used to be lucky to find my favorite flavors, now the shelves are stocked full with those 25% less sugar BECAUSE NOBODY IS BUYING THEM! You broke a golden rule of never changing your brands key product that made you famous. Adding other flavors is one thing, but you have alienated your CORE customers! So fire who ever made this egregious mistake, and bring back the REAL original. So for now, I switched to Dannon Activia (not the blue label reduced) because they are the ONLY yogurt left that hasn't turned their flavor into a chemical experiment or Greek goat pie.

By Doug 5/10/2015 10:40:59 AM
I HATE the taste of the reduced sugar version. The only way I can eat it is to add about 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar per cup. General Mills, do you know how inconvenient it is to have to add sugar to eat your yogurt? Let me guess, the "Einstein" who decided to reduce the sugar was a former Coca-Cola CEO who introduced the "New Coke" version from the 80's, right? I hope General Mills suffers the same consumer backlash as Coca-Cola did...

By Jeremy 5/6/2015 3:17:06 PM
I too have been disappointed in the change in taste. It almost tastes like there is artificial sweetener in the yogurt. It is not on the label though. Very weird and no longer my go to yogurt.

By Van Family 5/5/2015 6:27:30 PM
My four year old used to eat Yoplait every day but says it now tastes bad. I've been eating Yoplait for 25 years and have to agree with him. The new formula is worst than most off-brand yogurts. My wife doesn't like it either and I've talked to a couple of other family members and friends who agree. There is no way Yoplait will continue to dominate the yogurt dept at the grocery store with this bad tasting yogurt. Honestly, if I was so concerned about the healthiness of the yogurt, I would already be eating the Dannon Greek. Yoplait made a huge mistake and is losing their core customer base fast to meet a handful of health nuts who are already eating something different. Just read the posts by their Fans on their Facebook page. Most people won't say anything, they'll just buy something that tastes good and not care if it has less sugar. Most Yoplait consumers also fill their shopping carts with Oreos, Coca-Cola, Garlic Bread, and Frozen Pizzas. They really don't care if they lowered the sugar - they only care if it tastes good and is decently healthy.

By Disapponted Consumer 5/5/2015 5:11:18 PM
Yoplait was my favorite yogurt until it was changed! Calling it the "Original", but then changing the sugar content by 25% does not make it the original. It tastes different from the original! Shame on Yoplait for thinking cosumers palates would not recognize the difference! I am a sorely disappointed consumer because I now have to find a yogurt that tastes and is what it says it is. Thank you for your time, Disapponted Consumer