Spoonful by spoonful, Real Simple sampled and scooped ― and came up with winners in nine categories.
Winner: Dannon La Creme Vanilla (each 4-ounce cup contains 15 percent of the daily value for calcium and 5 grams of fat). Testers were enamored of its puddinglike consistency and sweet flavor but viewed it as an indulgence rather than a quick, healthy snack.
Winner: Dannon Light Fit (each 6-ounce cup contains 15 percent of the DV for calcium and 0 grams of fat). While testers liked Dannon best, they wished the essence of vanilla could have been stronger and a bit less "artificial tasting." Testers were put off by the intense sweetness of most light yogurts (which generally contain aspartame).
Winner: Dannon La Creme French Vanilla Mousse (each 2.6-ounce serving contains 10 percent of the DV for calcium and 5 grams of fat). Comments ranged from "Melts in your mouth" to "Wow! Is this yogurt?" One tester called it "hands down the best flavor." Another, however, called the consistency strange, "like spongy Jell-O."
Winner: Yoplait Yumsters Strawberry/Vanilla (each 4-ounce tube contains 20 percent of the DV for kids of calcium and 2 grams of fat). Adults found the taste of most kids' yogurts too artificial and the colors too funky. Yoplait, with a silky-smooth texture, was the best. Kids had distinctly different opinions: A 12-year-old liked rich YoBaby, even though it's meant for babies and toddlers.
Winner: Brown Cow Lemon Twist (each 8-ounce cup contains 35 percent of the DV for calcium and 2.5 grams of fat). Testers liked its "thick, tart, refreshing," and "real lemon" flavor. This was not a landslide win: Yoplait's Lemon Burst came in a close second.
Fruit on the Bottom
Winner: Dannon Strawberry (each 6-ounce serving contains 20 percent of the DV for calcium and 1.5 grams of fat). Testers easily voted this best. It was not exceedingly sweet and had a "natural strawberry flavor."
Winner: Horizon Organic Strawberry (each 6-ounce cup contains 25 percent of the DV for calcium and 0 grams of fat). The majority of testers liked Horizon for its "natural fruit flavor" and smooth consistency that was "not too thick and not too thin."
Winner: YoCrunch Strawberry (each 6.5-ounce cup contains 15 percent of the DV for calcium and 2 grams of fat). Testers noted a lot of "artificial" and "very fake" tasting crunchies in this category. But when pressed to choose a favorite, they singled out YoCrunch's entry, with its cinnamony crunchies.
Winner: Fage Total Authentic Greek Yogurt (each 7-ounce serving contains 20 percent of the DV for calcium and 20 grams of fat). Testers loved the thick texture and tart flavor of this imported cult hit (not surprising - its fat content rivals that of ice cream, though low-fat versions are available, too). One tester likened it to rich, thick sour cream. Another said, "This is how yogurt is supposed to taste."