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Fage yogurt now made in NY, and awful


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For many years my husband and I have been utterly devoted to Fage Total Greek Yogurt.

The other night he was eating a cherry yogurt and said "Have you noticed these cherries aren't as good lately?" I said, "Yes! I was just thinking that--they used to have a wild taste sort of like amarena cherries, but they don't anymore."

This morning I was eating another cherry yogurt and the yogurt itself was really grainy and watery. It seemed almost as if it had powdered milk mixed in, and had kind of a slight cheesy smell. I threw it out, thinking it was just a bad batch.

This evening--just now--I was eating a honey yogurt and noticed the same thing. As I was telling my husband how bad it was, I looked at the back of the carton and suddenly realized what it was--Fage has begun manufacturing the yogurt at its new facility in New York!

I had read that they were going to be doing this and had a feeling of foreboding about it, but this is worse than I ever imagined. This new yogurt is worse than almost any other yogurt I've ever had.

Has anyone else noticed this? I really am so upset. What in the world were they thinking?

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They were (most likely) thinking that it would be a heck of a lot cheaper to produce the yogurt in New York, rather than incur increasingly prohibitive shipping costs, which would drive the price of the yogurt up to the point where no one will buy it anymore.

I just checked a container of yogurt I bought yesterday, and it was produced in Greece, so I can't say I've tasted the NY stuff yet - maybe they will figure out how to make it taste just as good when it's produced here.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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The reason they selected the site they did in upstate NY is because they felt the quality of the milk there is very similar to that in Greece where fage comes from. It may be that the quality of other ingredients such as the cherries is not comparable. Have you tried the plain yogurt, which has always been my favorite anyway?

I have to admit, I haven't had Fage in awhile since I have been getting wonderful Greek style yogurt from a local CSA, which is actually not far from the Fage plant.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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The reason they selected the site they did in upstate NY is because they felt the quality of the milk there is very similar to that in Greece where fage comes from. It may be that the quality of other ingredients such as the cherries is not comparable. Have you tried the plain yogurt, which has always been my favorite anyway?

The flavored yogurts come in two separate compartments--one of plain yogurt and one of the fruit/honey--then you mix them together. The plain yogurt has always been the same plain yogurt as you get in the big tubs. No, sadly, this seems to be a matter of both lower-quality yogurt and lower-quality cherries.

It may be that the milk in NY is good but that something is going awry elsewhere in the production process.

Well, I'm glad I ate so much of it while it lasted.

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I will have to try some for myself. This is not good news. I was thrilled when I heard the news that they would be locating nearby.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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They opened they plant in NY because the product was doing so well and it was the natural next step in the company's domestic growth in the US. In regards to the company's planning and strategy - IMHO, it wasn't done properly and it wasn't well planned or thought out. But, who am I? :wink:

It's not the same as it was before - I had the made in NY one tonight from Trader Joe's and it's friggin' AWFUL. Chalky, sour, and with a horrible texture. Hell, I might as well have been eating Dannon. It's not going to be the same if the cows and what the cows eat aren't the same. We may have good dairy in the States but the E.U. beats us every time in any dairy category. Their milk is just that much better than ours.

You can write to them and they may respond. They may give you free product. But only time will tell if the product will return to its original quality or if we're screwed.

*See, it's so bad I had to go and edit this post twice! The horror!

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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I had exactly the same experience with a tub I bought yesterday. It was watery, chunky and almost unpalatable. I used to be able to hold the tub upside down Dairy Queen style and it would stay in place. This tub would've dripped out into a gloopy mess.

It seems like they didn't strain it enough.

I make my yogurt at home and use Fage as a starter. The 2 gallon batch I made came out fine so at the very least it still has live cultures. At least they didn't screw that up.

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I wrote to them and got a form reply thanking me for my feedback and offering me a case of cherry yogurt. I turned it down. The only thing more depressing than a container of chalky, watery Fage would be a case of it. I wrote back and said no thanks, but that I would like to hear from quality control regarding whether they are working on improving the US product and whether we will still be able to obtain the Greek product in the US.

I never received a reply.

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I just checked my local source here in Atlanta, Dekalb Farmers Market, and sure enough it's labeled as being from New York. I haven't been using it recently and didn't buy any on this visit, so can't comment on the quality one way or the other.

I've been using Wallaby yogurt lately. Very creamy texture (it does have added pectin), but not gelatinous the way a lot of U.S. yogurts tend to be. Not Fage texture, either.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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My experience has been totally different. I bought a container of 2% plain that was manufactured in Johnstown and it was thick, creamy and delicious, exactly like the container from Greece that I bought a few weeks ago. It was not grainy or watery. I also bought a container of cherry that was made in Greece, but "distributed by FAGE USA, Johnstown,NY" (it was delicious.) My supermarket also had a cherry that was manufactured in Johnstown, but I didn't try it (yet.) I hope this transition/quality control issue gets resolved. I live near Johnstown and having FAGE move to this area is a great boon to the local economy.

Ilene

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Since it is farmer's market season, I simply don't go to the supermarket much, but I will have to remember to try some next time I do go.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Considering that Kesso Foods in Queens makes Greek-style yogurt that is, IMO, better than Fage, I have to believe that it will be possible for the Fage people to work out the kinks in their new American facility.

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Considering that Kesso Foods in Queens makes Greek-style yogurt that is, IMO, better than Fage, I have to believe that it will be possible for the Fage people to work out the kinks in their new American facility.

That's the one I buy, though my local market had the last of the imported (I guess) Fage last week, and I bought it for comparison...I like the Kesso's as much, if not more...but it probably has a fairly limited distribution.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Kesso definitely has fairly limited distribution. But they're hardly a boutique artisanal producer. I buy mine at Fairway.

My point was just that the example of Kesso proves that it's possible to make a high quality Greek style yogurt on a fairly large scale in the United States. Needless to say, Fage's operation is quite a bit larger than Kesso's. But if Fage is able to do this in Greece, I have to believe they can do it here as well -- and the quality of Kesso suggests that they can.

--

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My experience has been totally different. I bought a container of 2% plain that was manufactured in Johnstown and it was thick, creamy and delicious,..

Same here. Tub of 2% purchased at Trader Joes. I didn't notice the change in manufacturing location until I spotted this thread and checked the label.

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I dunno. I just opened a small tub of the 2% plain Fage earlier this week and it seemed fine to me. Or at least as it always had. Granted, I didn't check the label for it's providence, but it was delicious over sliced farmer's market strawberries drizzled with lavender honey. Maybe the "new" yogurt hasn't hit the shelves in Philly yet? I'll check the label next time I'm at Trader Joe's and see if I'm correct.

I never tried any of fruit flavors, so I can't comment on their texture or quality. I've always been a fan of the plain Fage or the prepackaged sectioned container with honey.

Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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in the test kitchen where I work, we noticed the difference...but just figured our purveyor was improperly handling our yogurt...crap, bad news. chalky, gritty, watery and just not "creamy" say it aint so.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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The logistics are easier if you import from Greece to a NJ port and then distribute the product out. It's harder from upstate NY because it's just so far out - the infrastructure isn't good. In the metro area, trucks can piggyback their pickups. Upstate, you have to spend one day going out for product and that makes it harder.

Yes, making the yogurt stateside is fresher but IT IS NOT THE SAME.

I noticed that all the fruit & honey yogurts are made stateside and *some* of the plain (whole milk, 5%, and 0%) yogurts are still made in Greece and imported here. Check your labels carefully and buy the real FAGE when you can.

re: Kessos. It's not bad but IMHO original FAGE is better. Personally Kessos is watery to me.

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The logistics are easier if you import from Greece to a NJ port and then distribute the product out.  It's harder from upstate NY because it's just so far out - the infrastructure isn't good.  In the metro area, trucks can piggyback their pickups.  Upstate, you have to spend one day going out for product and that makes it harder.

This makes no sense at all. The product may or may not be the same, but it isn't because of the distribution infrastructure of upstate NY! Before the original Fage gets from Greece to the US, it still has to get from the plant to the port. The transportation access from the plant in Johnstown is actually quite good and is only about three to four hours outside of NYC and a half hour from Albany.

Edited by docsconz (log)

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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re: Kessos.  It's not bad but IMHO original FAGE is better.  Personally Kessos is watery to me.

Odd. "Watery" is the last word I'd use to describe Kesso's yogurt. If anything, I think it is significantly thicker than Fage. There are lots of things I use Kesso's strained yogurt for where I find Fage a poor substitute because it's too watery.

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