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My kids love their squeezy yoghurt pouches. They’re perfect for brekkie-on-the-go and offer a great dairy boost in lunchboxes. But are they actually healthy or just a sugary treat in disguise?

I’ve always been a bit in denial when it comes to squeezy yoghurt pouches. They look healthy and all the messaging on the packaging points to good-for-you ingredients. They’re packed with calcium and fruit and they’re super convenient. So I must admit, that I’ve been a bit slack about studying the nutritional content at the back of the products. I don’t think I really wanted to know if the news wasn’t so good.

But the CHOICE team has shaken me out of my apathy. The testing experts have done a detailed analysis of the popular squeezy yoghurt pouches and compared them to see which are the best and worst to pick.

The new CHOICE review reveals which yoghurts are the worst offenders when it comes to total sugar, along with the best performers for calcium, protein and fat content.

Squeezy yoghurt pouches “are a really popular choice for lunch boxes. Many of these yoghurts contain a good amount of calcium, and many contain small amounts of added sugars, so they’re a good option in terms of packaged snacks available for children,” says CHOICE expert Marianna Longmire.

“With over 100 options to choose from, it can be really difficult to tell which yoghurt pouches are the healthiest options for your kids.”

CHOICE reviewed the ingredients of 118 different squeezy yoghurt products from brands including Yoplait Petit Miam, Chobani, Tamar Valley Kids and Farmers Union, to find out exactly how healthy they are.

The Bad…

So first…the bad news –

Three in five of the products CHOICE reviewed contain added sugar.

There’s Good News Too

The good news is that when the team first reviewed squeezy yoghurt pouches in 2016, all the ones they looked at contained added sugar.

So there has been a small improvement. Now, 64% of the products reviewed contain added sugar, mostly in the form of sugar, fruit-juice concentrate or rice syrup.

That means about two in five contain NO added sugar.

How To Work Out Added Sugar Content

Determing whether the squeezy yoghurt pouch contains added sugar can be a bit tricky.

Most squeezy yoghurts still don’t list added sugar in the nutritional information panel, so it’s difficult to tell how much of the sugar content is added vs intrinsic (naturally occurring sugars found in milk, fruit and vegies).

CHOICE’s Ms Longmire shares a useful tip to determine this.

“If you can’t tell from the ingredients list whether there’s added sugar in a yoghurt product, look at the Nutritional Information Panel on the back. Of the products we looked at, natural yoghurt contains roughly 5-6% intrinsic (naturally occuring) sugars. So if the total sugars value is more than 7g per 100g, it probably contains added sugars,” says Longmire.

Look Out For Carrot Concentrate

Interestingly, CHOICE also discovered that 17 products also contained black-carrot or purple-carrot concentrate.

While including carrot in a yoghurt sounds like a healthy thing to do, Ms Longmire points out that the “carrot concentrate is basically just the colour and sugars, not the fibre and other nutrients in a whole carrot.”

Squeezy Yoghurt Pouches With The Most Sugar

CHOICE has revealed the yoghurt pouches which are the biggest offenders when it comes to sugar.

These squeezy yoghurt pouches contain the most sugar – all had 12g or more per 100g (ordered alphabetically):

Aldi Just Organic Yogurt (70g pouch: vanilla bean, strawberry, blueberry; 140g pouch: vanilla bean, strawberry)
Aldi Yoguri Greek Style High Protein Yogurt (strawberry)
Chobani (blueberry, strawberry)
Coles Yoghurt Pouch (blueberry)
Five:am Organic (vanilla bean)

The Yoghurt With The Highest Sugar Content

When it comes to total sugars, Aldi’s Just Organic vanilla bean yoghurt was the worst offender, with 15.4g of sugars per 100g. That’s more than ten times more sugar than a pouch of vanilla Cocobella Dairy Free Coconut Yoghurt (1.2g/100g). The sugars they contain may be organic, but that doesn’t make them healthy.

yoghurt-squeezies-sugar
Image from CHOICE

What About Calcium?

I’ve always thought that the major benefit of yoghurt is the calcium content. According to the Food Standards Code, a
product is a “good source of calcium” if a serving contains no less than 25% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for that mineral. The RDI of calcium for children aged four to eight is 700mg a day.

The CHOICE team discovered that not all squeezy yoghurt pouches are equal when it comes to Calcium concentration.

Almost half of all the products (51) contained 175mg calcium or more in each pouch, making them a good source of calcium, according to the FSC.

These included: (ordered alphabetically):

Activia Probiotics (banana, mango, strawberry, vanilla)
Aldi Brooklea Yogurt Squishy (70g pouch: strawberry, banana, blueberry; 150g pouch: vanilla, strawberry, blueberry)
Aldi Just Organic (vanilla bean, strawberry)
Aldi Yolivo Kids Yogurt (vanilla, strawberry)
Coles Yoghurt Pouch (banana, vanilla)
Danone Yopro (banana, blueberry, mango, strawberry, vanilla)
Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt Pouch (natural, passionfruit, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla bean, peach, mango)
Five:am Organic (vanilla bean, strawberry)
Liddells Lactose Free Dairy (strawberry, vanilla bean)
Pauls Flavoured Yoghurt (birthday cake)
Siggi’s Skyr Yoghurt Pouch (vanilla, raspberry, mango, passionfruit)
Vaalia Kids Lactose Free Yoghurt Pouch (blueberry, vanilla, strawberry)
Vaalia Kids Yoghurt Pouch (blueberry, banana, vanilla, tropical, strawberry)
Vaalia Plus Protein (vanilla, strawberry, blueberry)
Woolworths Yoghurt Pouch (strawberry, vanilla, banana)

Good Source of Protein

Not all of the yoghurts tested would be considered a good source of protein (which would be 10g of more protein per serve).

CHOICE found that 60 products contained less than half the amount of protein to qualify as a good source, as defined by the FSC.

Squeezy yoghurts that are a good source of protein include:
(In alphabetical order)

Aldi Yoguri Greek Style High Protein Yogurt (strawberry)
Chobani (blueberry, tropical, strawberry, pineapple coconut, raspberry, vanilla)
Chobani FIT (blueberry, vanilla, coconut, strawberry, raspberry, banana)
Danone Yopro (vanilla, strawberry, mango, banana, blueberry)
Siggi’s Skyr Yoghurt Pouch (mango, passionfruit, raspberry, vanilla)
Vaalia Plus Protein (blueberry, strawberry, vanilla)

yoghurt pouch
image from CHOICE

What about Fat?

For a yoghurt to be considered low-fat, it should have no more than 3g fat per 100g. Of the products CHOICE looked at, three in five (62%) met the low-fat definition.

For calcium enthusiasts, low-fat yoghurts contain more calcium, on average, than those with a higher fat content.

If a low-fat yoghurt is important to you, these brands should be your pic:
(Ordered alphabetically.)

Aldi Brooklea No Added Sugar Yogurt Pouch (banana, strawberry)
Aldi Brooklea Yogurt Squishy (70g pouch: strawberry, banana, blueberry; 150g pouch: vanilla, strawberry, blueberry)
Aldi Yoguri Greek Style High Protein Yogurt (strawberry)
Aldi Yolivo Kids Yogurt (vanilla, strawberry)
Chobani (pineapple coconut, vanilla, raspberry, strawberry, tropical, blueberry)
Chobani Fit (coconut, banana, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla)
Coles Yoghurt Pouch (banana, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry)
Danone Yopro (blueberry, banana, mango, strawberry, vanilla)
Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt Pouch (passionfruit, strawberry, blueberry, vanilla bean, peach, mango)
Good Yums (tropical, vanilla, strawberry)
Liddells Lactose Free Dairy (strawberry, vanilla bean)
Pauls Flavoured Yoghurt (banana, strawberry, vanilla)
Sanitarium Up & Go (banana, vanilla, milk chocolate)
Siggi’s Skyr Yoghurt Pouch (vanilla, raspberry, passionfruit, mango)
Vaalia Plus Protein (vanilla, strawberry, blueberry)
Vaalia Kids Lactose Free Yoghurt Pouch (blueberry, vanilla, strawberry)
Vaalia Kids Yoghurt Pouch (blueberry, banana, vanilla, tropical, strawberry)
Woolworths Yoghurt Pouch (strawberry, banana, vanilla)
Yoplait Petit Miam (strawberry, blueberry, vanilla, mango, fruit salad, banana)

Additives in yoghurt

Many of the squeezy yoghurt pouches contains additives – such as thickeners and stabilisers, actidity regulators, colours and flavours.

If you’re looking for yoghurt without the additives or added sugars, you’re going to want to pick natural yoghurt, which will contain two main ingredients – milk and live yoghurt cultures.

Of all the squeezy yoghurt pouches tested, only two were authentically natural. These included:

Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt Pouch
Rafferty’s Garden

And you could always top the yoghurt with fresh chopped fruit to add some sweetness.

What are your favourite squeezy yoghurt pouches? Will your choices be influences by what you have read in this article? Tell us in the comments below.

  • There is a much greater variety of these now than when my son was younger.

    Reply

  • This is why my kids love yogurt squeeze pouches.

    Reply

  • Home made Greek Yoghurt is what my kids have grown up with and I never bothered to buy these pouches. Even the made up pots of yoghurt are so full of sugar that my children don’t like them. To each his own, but we’ll stick with what we like. Thank you Choice for your investigations.


    • Yes my kids like plain greek yoghurt the best too and eat it sometimes with a dash of cinnamon. I use lately reusable pouches and fill them up myself

    Reply

  • This makes it tricky. I’m just trying to get my daughter to have any yoghurt I can.

    Reply

  • My kids will only have the tamar valley ones- Greek yoghurt no added sugar- some of them are full of it

    Reply

  • My kids don’t know these things exist, I intend to keep it that way!

    Reply

  • My bub loves the Wiggles yoghurt and bluey custards.
    I don’t think I’ll stop buying either, just limit the amount she has in a week.

    Reply

  • Never been a fan. I’ve always just bought a 1kg tub and put it in little containers. Cuts down on waste and you can see what you are getting.

    Reply

  • Thanks for this informative and comprehensive article on yoghurt pouches. The pouches we have are not the list.

    Reply

  • I wouldn’t give these to my kids in a million years. They get plain Greek yoghurt with fruit. I don’t care how convenient things are if they want yoghurt and we are going out it comes out in their snack bag with an ice block in it to keep it cool.

    Reply

  • Great article! It’s overwhelming trying to know what the best choice is!

    Reply

  • My girls prefer Vaalia pouches.

    Reply

  • Interesting read. I don’t buy the kids yoghurt for the nutritional value I buy it because they like it! If I was worried about the fat and sugar content I would buy them plain yoghurt and add berries to it, but my kids didn’t like it when I tried it. I’m not afraid of giving my kids sugar as they eat extremely healthy (by choice) most of the time

    Reply

  • So much to think about but good to have the research done for us, thanks choice


    • It really is terrific to have this article as a reference for yoghurt pouches!

    Reply

  • Interesting.
    I always buy The Collective Pro Kefir Yoghurt (no added sugar) and Tamar Valley Yoghurt pouches (no added sugar). Coles & Woolworths discontinued coconut yoghurt pouches which I used to buy for my daughter who is on diary free. I use reusable pouches for her and and make myself a mixture of blended mango and plain coconut yoghurt


    • The fact that most squeezy yoghurts still don’t list added sugar in the nutritional information panel is a wrong thing in my opinion. Company’s like to hide such information to trick people into buying the product, so it’s difficult to tell how much of the sugar content is added vs intrinsic. It’s a deceptive market ! It would be good when companies are forces by law to be transparent about what’s in their product

    Reply

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