Say ‘Oui’ to all new French style yogurt
Brice LeRoy, innovation product designer with General Mills’ Dairy group, grew up in Brittany in the western part of France. He could spend hours explaining how food is central to French culture.
It’s celebrated. Discussed at length. And most of all savored.
One of his childhood memories is watching his mom take great care to make delicious traditional ‘pot set’ yogurt in the family’s kitchen. It was always hard to wait patiently until it was ready to eat, but there was no speeding the process, or “cheating,” as Brice puts it.
Fast forward 20 years, Brice is excited to be part of the team bringing a new category of yogurt to the U.S., inspired by that same traditional French style yogurt.
The product is Yoplait’s Saveur d’Autrefois (in English: “taste of yesteryear”). It inspired the French style yogurt that Yoplait is launching in July:
Oui by Yoplait.
The project started several months ago, when U.S. and French Yoplait team members met with yogurt lovers to uncover what people are looking for next in yogurt.
They heard loud and clear that people want simple, delicious and thick yogurt.
As they sorted through the feedback, one said: “I know the product they’re describing. We’ve been selling it in France for 20 years.”
Oui by Yoplait is made with simple, non-GMO ingredients – like whole milk, pure cane sugar, real fruit and yogurt cultures. It contains no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors and no colors from artificial sources.
It comes in eight flavors, including Strawberry, Blueberry, Black Cherry, Vanilla, Coconut, Lemon, Peach and Plain.
The Plain variety is made with only two ingredients – whole milk and yogurt cultures. The remaining flavors each contain eight or fewer ingredients.
The fruit flavors include real fruit at the bottom of the pot, which add a bit of fruit to each bite without stirring the yogurt and disrupting the thick texture.
“We’re really going back and embracing the way yogurt was made in the past to help create an entirely new category in the yogurt aisle,” says Doug Martin, director, Yoplait.
So, what makes Oui by Yoplait French style yogurt?
It’s not just the French-made glass pot or the French name.
The method for crafting French style yogurt differs greatly from standard U.S. yogurt making. Instead of culturing the ingredients in large batches and then filling individual cups with fully prepared yogurt, Oui by Yoplait is made by pouring ingredients into pots, and allowing the contents of each glass pot to set and culture for eight hours.
The result is a uniquely thick, delicious yogurt that has a subtly sweet, fresh taste.
“It’s the simplest way to make yogurt, but it’s also the hardest to do at scale,” Martin says.
“The taste is rich and thick and delicious,” says David Clark, president, U.S. Yogurt, in this audio clip. “Oui by Yoplait is French yogurt brought the the United States … Very simple, milk, sugar, fruit and cultures.”
Glass is rigid and helps maintain the yogurt’s integrity, and enables the yogurt to stabilize without the use of added corn starch or gelatin.
While rare in the U.S., glass pots are often used for yogurt in France to protect the delicate texture of “pot set” yogurt.
The glass pots also offer endless opportunities for creative and crafty upcycling.
So pause when you visit the yogurt aisle this July. You’ll see something new. It will be hard to miss in its beautiful glass pot.
Cut into the thick, creamy yogurt base and dig deep to get a sampling of the real fruit at the bottom. If you must, feel free to stir it together.
But don’t tell Brice. It’s not the French way.
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