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Total Greek yogurt has vanished


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#1 cdh

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:15 AM

Went into my local TJ's the other day to pick up some stuff, amongst that stuff was intended to be some of the wonderful Total greek yogurt that I've become hooked on over the past couple of years. When I looked in the fridge there were no signs of any Total products, and no evidence that they'd ever been there... not even a price label on the shelf. The shelves were newly rearranged and stocked with lots of domestic yogurt and no Greek yogurt. Grrrrrr...

Bewildered, I picked up the rest of the stuff I'd come after and checked out. I asked what the deal with the missing yogurt was, and the cashier told me that it had been pulled because it had been being imported illegally, and had been busted. He said it should be back in 3 or 4 months after it got its paperwork in order.

I can find no corroboration to this tale with a few web searches, so was wondering if others have noted the absence of Total yogurts from their store shelves.

I'm wondering if it is a USDA thing, or a Penna. Dept. of Ag. thing, or if the story was apocryphal. I can think of no reason for the store to voluntarily pull the product, since the cashier himself said that it was one of their top sellers...

I certainly hope that it returns quickly... but I'd like to know just what I'm being protected from by its removal from the market.

Edited by cdh, 08 September 2004 - 08:18 AM.

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#2 Hest88

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 08:39 AM

Here's the long Chowhound thread about it:

http://www.chowhound...ages/97821.html

#3 wnissen

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:03 AM

My Trader Joe's in Pleasanton, CA continues to carry several varieties of Total. I didn't ask about it, but this doesn't appear to be a national supply problem. Weird.

Walt
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#4 russ parsons

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:20 AM

three words: strauss family creamery. their yogurt is amazing (and, amazingly, in trader joe's)

#5 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:33 AM

I saw that thread on Chowhound as well but was surprised as the Napa TJs is fully stocked. It is also carried at The Cheesemaker's Daughter in Sonoma.

I've been buying the small, single-serving versions with honey... Great for breakfast!

#6 redfox

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 09:36 AM

three words: strauss family creamery. their yogurt is amazing (and, amazingly, in trader joe's)

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Their yogurt is delicious, but it's nothing like Total.
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#7 Maison Rustique

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:32 AM

I just bought Total at TJ's (Mission Viejo) about 3 days ago. They were fully stocked. :huh:
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#8 GG Mora

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:38 AM

Here's the only news item I cold find on the issue: Total Tale in Boston Globe.

Perhaps the ban hasn't quite gotten around, and those fully stocked shelves will wiped clean any day now...

#9 hjshorter

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 10:45 AM

Oh no!

Going to TJ's tonight to stock up - if I still can.
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#10 cdh

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:35 PM

Hmmm... following up on the Boston Globe article with a little google work, it appears that there are only four dairies in the world outside of the USA certified as Interstate Milk Shippers... which means that any and all Greek yogurt from Greece is an illegal alien in the USA.

Here are the foreign certified dairies: http://www.cfsan.fda...r/imssl-fr.html

Now what is it I'm being protected from by this governmental regulation again? Also, anybody out there have a cite to the USC or CFR where one could peruse the actual language of the law that the FDA is trying to enforce?

Edited by cdh, 08 September 2004 - 12:52 PM.

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#11 mighty quinn

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:48 PM

this is such a big crock! doesn't the FDA have anything better to do with it's time and energy?? i love that yogurt and had even found a source for it here in Richmond. i'm not dead, so it must be OK to eat. WTF over!
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#12 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:22 PM

Total yogurt is an excellent product. Equal, or almost equal, in quality to a good yogurt from a small dairy, but available at the supermarket. (They also make a pretty good feta; I'll have to see if that's still available). What I really like are their individual-sized yogurt cups that come with a little container of Greek honey: fragrant and tasting like the flowers of Mt. Hymettus. See, now I'm jonesing for yogurt...

#13 kitwilliams

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 05:49 PM

Easy solution: Buy the Strauss Family yogurt. Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Fill with yogurt. Cover. Set over a bowl. Refrigerate overnight. Voila: Greek yogurt. Add your swirl of honey and you're in business.
kit

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#14 gariotin

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 04:30 AM

I work for one of the importers of the total yogurt - it's not illegal, it's just that by lacking these papers they've been trying to get for years (!), big chains like TJ, Whole Foods, etc are nervous about carrying the product. Small independents are filling in the gaps in most areas, but they just don't have the same geographical coverage. We are very bummed as well - sitting on a lot of (dated) product and sales have fallen dramatically. We have not been told it is illegal to import or distribute the product.

#15 marlena spieler

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 11:02 PM

I echo the sentiment that the delicious Straus is wonderful.........

but it is a different kettle of fermented milk from the Greek yogurt. Total IS good, even my friends in Greece who deal with artisanal local yogurts agree that if an artisanal yogurt--scooped from its ceramic bowl, thickly creamy, tangily lactic, fresh and rich--is NOT available, then Total is v good.

what i would do to get you through the time wait for Total to return to TJs, is go to a shop that specializes in middle eastern products and buy laban. in san francisco go to 22nd and irving, there are about 3 at least different laban companies. and the cheapest one is actually the best.

marlena

Edited by marlena spieler, 10 September 2004 - 11:03 PM.

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#16 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 04:33 AM

what i would do to get you through the time wait for Total to return to TJs, is go to a shop that specializes in middle eastern products and buy laban. in san francisco go to 22nd and irving, there are about 3 at least different laban companies. and the cheapest one is actually the best.


Is laban the same as labneh? Because if so, it's pretty easy to make, using the straining method that kitwilliams described above (draining with cheesecloth). If I were Chris, I'd go to Reading Terminal or one of his local yogurteries and get some good yogurt and drain it for a bit.

#17 marlena spieler

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:47 AM

laban is pretty much the same thing as labneh, and yes, its strained nicely through a cheesecloth until you reach the consistency and thickness you wish, but the core of this whole thing is the yogurt you begin with.

Total, and laban etc are made with a rich whole milk, often enriched or made entirely with sheeps milk, and also the bacteria are not particularly tangy, rather more subtle.....so the strained yogurt you end up with is accordinly sweet and smooth.

a nice tangy yogurt, strained, will give you a nice tangy strained yogurt. delicious, totally delicious, esp if you use strauss' yogurt, but it will be different from Total.

But you you have local yogurt-eries? if so, check out the different qualities in the yogurt and for a Total-ly experience, use a sweet mild one.

on the other hand, just wait for total to return to tj and use this time period to explore the world of straining yogurt using different types of the fermented milk.......

marlena
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#18 therese

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 08:01 AM

A visit to Dekalb Farmers Market in Atlanta yesterday yielded the usual large stock of Total yogurt. Turnover there is extremely high, so if there were a problem with availability I'd expect to see it there. I did pick up an extra container, just in case.
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#19 Suzanne F

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 07:24 PM

My local store had plenty. I'm still getting used to the name change, though; Fage??? isn't that the thing that eats, not that which is eaten?

#20 Marmish

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Posted 21 September 2004 - 02:17 PM

Since Trader Joe's is no longer convenient to me, I buy Krinos Homestyle Greek Yogurt. I like it just as well, maybe better, than Total. While Krinos products seem to be pretty common (at least in these parts) not many places carry the yogurt.

#21 Tess

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 06:34 AM

Marmish, where in Chciago are you finding the Krinos Yougurt?

#22 wnissen

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 01:36 PM

Still enjoying the Total from the Pleasanton, CA Trader Joes. Google news doesn't reveal any new stories since 24 Sep, so who knows what's going on. I hope it doesn't disappear here, because we love the cup with honey, and have started to use it in place of sour cream in everything.

Walt
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#23 Squeat Mungry

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 01:57 PM

I don't make it to Trader Joe's very often, not having a car, but Yum! on Market Street here in San Francisco had it as of a couple of weeks ago.

Cheers,

Squeat

#24 Marmish

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 05:45 PM

Marmish, where in Chciago are you finding the Krinos Yougurt?

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Sorry, I just saw your question. At Caputo's on Harlem in Elmwood Park.

#25 M. Lucia

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 05:39 PM

Here's an article about Total's problems in the Washington Post:

http://www.washingto...-2004Oct26.html

#26 helenas

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 08:44 AM

Looks like Total yogurt is back: at least i got some yesterday at Delicious Orchards (NJ)

#27 Paris M

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 08:49 AM

It's been back at the Columbus Trader Joe's for about 6 weeks now. Yay!
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#28 sweet cheeks

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 04:21 PM

Interestingly, I just received this email from them today:

"Elena Tsopanakis"
To: elenat@fageusa.com
Subject: Total Greek yogurt
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 10:45:50 -0400

Dear Consumer,

We are delighted that you have discovered FAGE Total Yogurt, a distinctively creamy, natural, rich-tasting and wholesome premium yogurt, made in Greece by FAGE S.A., the #1 yogurt producer in Greece with 80 years experience in the dairy field.

As one of our valued consumers, we wanted you to be among the first to learn about some very exciting company news. Recently, our company has been designated “Interstate Milk Shippers” listing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Markets and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Naturally, we are very proud and honored to have achieved IMS listing status, which is a rare and great achievement for a non-U.S. dairy company. FAGE S.A. is the first Greek company to be IMS listed, as well as the second European company and the third worldwide. This additional certification comes as a result of FAGE S.A.’s commitment to always satisfy rigorous U.S. requirements for dairy pasteurization and sanitation, as well as continue to meet strict European standards of dairy production.

We are also very happy to announce that as a result of achieving IMS listing, you will be able to find FAGE Total Yogurt more easily in your area, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s national gourmet food stores. We understand that you may have experienced difficulty finding our product over the past six months, and apologize for this disruption and inconvenience.

If you have any questions or wish to comment on FAGE Total Yogurt, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are genuinely interested in hearing from you, and whole-heartedly appreciate your enthusiasm for our yogurt.

Sincerely,

FAGE USA, CORP.

**********

Thought y'all might be interested in how the company is spinning this.

Cheers :smile:

#29 pam claughton

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 10:42 AM

I stumbled onto this recently at my local Trader Joes and was blown away....and I'm not a huge yogurt person. This stuff is just so good. I use instead of sour cream, and it's great with fruit and honey.