Best Vegan Yogurt (Part 2: Flavored)
If vegan/dairy-free yogurts are your jam - and you’re a sucker for the flavored kind - then we have your back. After doing a head-to-head taste test on a number of plain yogurts (here), we suspected that flavored yogurts would be a whole other ball game. And we were right. A lot of yogurt reviews out there compare totally different flavors across brands - like vanilla from brand one, and then peach from brand two. Call us nerds, but that doesn’t seem like the truest test. So, we rounded up 6-7 brands for each flavor and then compared them. What we discovered is that it isn’t a winner take-all situation. Keep reading to find out which brands top the list for each vanilla, strawberry and blueberry.
As Canadians, our quest to find the best vegan yogurt took us across the US border. Sadly, we have a lot less variety up north, but that didn’t stop us from bringing back as many dairy-free yogurts as we could get our hands on. For this vegan flavored yogurt taste test, that translated to 20 individual flavor/brand combinations, bought from Whole Foods, Fred Meyers and Trader Joe’s.
For the most consistency in testing, we covered one flavor at a time and went through all the brands head-to-head. We then tested again the next day to ensure we still agreed with the results from the day before. For close calls, we had a couple friends taste for us as well. As we shared in part one of this series, we do occasionally eat dairy, so we also bought dairy-based yogurt for comparison purposes. In short, you can trust us when we say it tastes like the “real thing”.
We judged based on taste, texture, and ingredients. Taste was by far the most important criteria. In our world, if something tastes horrible, there’s no amount of texture or ingredient benefits that could get us excited to eat it.
When it comes to flavored yogurt, an extra element is usually the sugar content. Obviously, flavored yogurts come with more added sugar than plain/unsweetened varieties. If you’re choosing to indulge in flavored yogurt, we’re assuming you’re already accepting that there’s going to be sugar inside of it. We make note of sugar in this review insofar as it affects the taste (e.g. too sweet or not sweet enough). But if you’re worried about the sugar in flavored yogurts, we’d suggest buying plain/unsweetened and adding your own source of flavoring (e.g. fresh fruit, jam, etc.) for more control. Or, view flavored yogurt as the occasional treat and just enjoy it!
And before we move onto the results of the test, we do want to let you know that taste is obviously subjective. We had two (sometimes four) people testing the yogurt and this is how we’d all rank them. We’d love to hear if you agree with us (or not)! Feel free to share which ones you love in the comments section below.
PS: This is not a sponsored post. We bought everything ourselves and are sharing our true, uncensored opinions.
The results (best to worse):
- [Winner!] Forager Cashewgurt (Vanilla): In our plain yogurt taste test, So Delicious beat out Forager. We were expecting the same results here, but actually found Forager to take the lead. We liked that you could see the flecks of real vanilla bean, and overall, the vanilla flavor tasted more natural. Forager had the right level of sweetness we’d want in a vanilla yogurt. As with other Forager yogurts, it’s a bit more on the runny side; and you do have to like the slight cashew-y taste to rank this as number one.
- [Runner up!] So Delicious Coconutmilk (Vanilla): This was a really tough call, and to be honest, both Forager and So Delicious could take the number one spot. So Delicious is thicker in texture, which we liked. It definitely tastes sweeter than Forager (16g vs. 12g). And, the vanilla (which comes from “natural flavor”) tasted ever-so-slightly artificial, which put it a smidge behind. That said, we’d happily dig into this one too.
- Silk Dairy-Free (Vanilla): This soy-based yogurt was decent. You could see flecks of vanilla bean, which was a nice touch. However, it did taste too sweet for our liking (17g sugar), and had an artificial aftertaste.
- Trader Joe’s Cultured Coconut Milk (Vanilla): The taste on this one isn’t bad, provided you like coconut. However, the texture was the worst of the bunch. It’s very jello-like, so be prepared to stir it a lot - and even then it won’t get that smooth. The texture isn’t winning any beauty-awards, and it verges on tasting bland, but at least the flavor didn’t offend us.
- Stonyfield O’Soy (Vanilla): We prefer coconut over soy, which is why we put Trader Joe’s slightly above, but to be honest they ranked very close. Pretty thick texture (not quite Greek-yogurt thick, but don’t think that’s what they’re aiming for). Taste was very sweet - has the most sugar of the bunch at 18g.
- Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt (Vanilla): We like that you can see the vanilla bean flecks, and as they’re known for, the texture looks just like yogurt. Unfortunately, the vanilla still can’t hide the intense sourness that surprised us in the plain yogurt test. It’s far more sour than regular yogurt, even with the 14g of added sugar.
- Kite Hill Greek-Style Yogurt (Vanilla): Same story on this one. Texture is pretty close to Greek-yogurt, so feel good about that part. Unfortunately we just can’t get over the taste. Too sour.
The results (best to worse):
- [Winner!] So Delicious Coconutmilk (Strawberry): Whoa, this tastes like the strawberry yogurt of our childhood! We don’t eat berry-flavored yogurts too often, but when we do, it’s usually as a dessert. So, we think this one would make the yummiest treat. Perhaps what’s most impressive is that you can’t even tell this is dairy-free. No joke.
- [Runner up!] Forager Cashewgurt (Strawberry): This yogurt is also yummy. The color seems slightly more natural/subdued and it’s less sweet - which makes Forager feel like a healthier, more adult version of strawberry yogurt. If we ate berry flavored yogurt regularly as a breakfast or mid-day snack, we’d probably opt for this one. Not quite like the strawberry yogurt we remembered having as a kid, but a great option nonetheless!
- Silk Dairy-Free (Strawberry): This Silk yogurt seems to be going a similar direction as So Delicious. It too has a thick texture. The strawberry flavor is quite pronounced, but it does taste slightly more artificial than So Delicious. Not bad, but not our favorite.
- Stonyfield Organic O’Soy (Strawberry): This is one of those fruit-at-the-bottom yogurts. It has bits of strawberry pieces in it, which we didn’t mind. People who don’t like the texture of fruity bits might want to watch out. This yogurt is far too sweet for us: it has 22g of sugar and is by far the sweetest of the bunch.
- Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt (Strawberry): We hoped the flavored varieties would be able to hide the intense sourness of Kite Hill’s yogurt, but unfortunately that’s not quite the case. We find the taste to be slightly artificial, and while better than Plain, not something we’d buy again.
- Kite Hill Greek-Style (Strawberry): Basically the same issues for us as the traditional Kite Hill yogurt, only exasperated by the fact that it’s very thick (verging on chalky) and doesn’t really taste sweet at all.
The results (best to worse):
- [Winner!] So Delicious Coconutmilk (Blueberry): This too reminds us of the yogurt we had as a kid. Again, you could totally trick people into thinking this is regular yogurt. We liked their Strawberry slightly more than the Blueberry, because the blueberry felt a smidge too sweet. That said, it gets top marks if you’re looking for an occasional treat that tastes just like the real thing.
- [Runner up!] Forager Cashewgurt (Blueberry): With less sweetness and a lighter color, this again feels like an adult-version of blueberry yogurt. Tastes good and we’d definitely buy this again. If we had blueberry yogurt regularly, we’d probably grab this one as a lower-sugar alternative to So Delicious.
- Trader Joe’s Cultured Coconut Milk (Blueberry): This one gets a thumbs up for flavor, not for texture. It ranks above Silk because it has slightly more tang and more natural tasting flavor. But the texture is not smooth, both before and after stirring - so consider yourself warned.
- Silk Dairy-Free (Blueberry): We liked Silk’s blueberry flavor better than strawberry. Again, it goes in a similar direction as So Delicious, but we found its flavor relatively flatter and lacking some tang.
- Stonyfield Organic O’Soy (Blueberry): Once you stir in the bits of blueberry at the bottom, the color ends up looking kind of grey and unappealing. Unfortunately the predominant taste in this is sugar. At 23g of sugar, we’re finding this way too sweet.
- Coyo (Mixed Berry): Because Coyo is basically a coconut (whipped) cream, it’s hard for us to think of applications for their mixed berry version. The berry flavor isn’t very pronounced - it’s more just a different color than anything - because the coconut flavor is very heavy. And because it’s even less versatile, it’s hard for us to justify the price tag.
- Kite Hill Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt (Blueberry): As expected, too sour for us to enjoy it.
- Kite Hill Greek-Style (Blueberry): Same issues as with the other flavors: even more sour tasting than the regular Kite Hill yogurt.
In summary: When it comes to flavored yogurts both So Delicious and Forager were consistently our top picks. So Delicious is a sweeter, more flavor-forward yogurt. It can stand in for any dairy-based vanilla, strawberry or blueberry yogurt without detection. However, if you’re looking for a less-sweet, more adult oriented version of yogurt, then Forager is a great bet. The flavors are a bit more subtle and natural tasting. When it comes to vanilla yogurt, we prefered Forager due to its natural vanilla bean flavor. However, we usually expect strawberry and blueberry yogurts to have slightly enhanced flavors...which is why we’d pick So Delicious for the few occasions when we’re craving a childhood treat.
We hope you enjoyed the summary of our taste test! Did you already catch our review of plain vegan yogurt brands? If not, you can find our detailed rankings here.
And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on vegan/dairy-free flavored yogurts. Which brand(s) are your favorites - and why?