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June 26th, 2003

The Yoplait-Columbo Yogurt Conspiracy

I, like millions of other people, like yogurt. But I haven’t enjoyed the continuous downsizing of yogurt containers. It feels like my spoons are too big to fit in Yoplait’s tiny 6 ounce containers, and don’t even get me started about their La Creme – which are a teeny 2.3 ounces each.

So I started to look for an alternative. I tried Stonyfield Farm, and didn’t like Chocolate Underground very much – but would be willing to try them again. I also tried Columbo, and loved it. I thought it was great, and they had great commercials as well – highlighting their 8 ounce size, versus their competitions’ 6 ounce size. I somehow remembered the competition as being Yoplait, but as you can see, it’s Dannon.

Well, here’s the mind-bender for you: Yoplait’s rinky-dink yogurts and Columbo’s big beautiful yogurts come from the same darn company. While Columbo certainly isn’t steering you away from Yoplait, there’s an obvious size difference.

This was all uncovered by my intelligent wife, who contacted Yoplait and received a reply from “Yoplait/Columbo”. A cursory Google search for “columbo yogurt” verifies that same combination. I say that it’s a conspiracy… of sorts, really: General Mills owns both companies and will get your bucks, even if you think you’re supporting ordinary-sized yogurt by buying Columbo.

Aren’t brands wonderful?

Posted in Food and Beverage

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday June 26, 2003 -- 12:11:57 am
I thought this might be a Ping about Peter Falk shilling for Yoplait...

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday June 26, 2003 -- 12:27:20 am
I hate McDonalds normally, but I love the Fruit and Yogurt "Parfait", which is really just yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, and granola topping. Highly addictive, and the $1 "snack size" is still 12 oz., more than enough for a good snack (or even a breakfast substitute).

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday June 26, 2003 -- 8:01:10 am
This is as insidious as the beer companies!

FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday June 26, 2003 -- 12:22:33 pm
Why can't they just put yogurt in toothpaste tubes?

FROM: Glenn
DATE: Thursday June 26, 2003 -- 1:43:18 pm
thats gogurt

FROM: Greg C
DATE: Thursday June 26, 2003 -- 2:16:29 pm
Yoplait is only distributed by Columbo. It's owned by a French company (seriously). I'd give specifics except I forgot to bring Yoplait to work today!

Yes, Yoplait is small, but it makes up for it in taste. It's the best damned light yogurt on the market, hands down.

FROM: zigfried
DATE: Friday June 27, 2003 -- 12:07:50 am
wasn't this yesterday's daily ping?

maybe they should change this site to

or maybe i'm just mistaken.

alcohol will do that to you.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday June 27, 2003 -- 12:41:38 am
Zigfried -- The date tells all. Be patient.

FROM: zigfried
DATE: Friday June 27, 2003 -- 12:52:44 am
FROM: zigfried
DATE: Friday June 27, 2003 -- 12:07:50 am

The date tells me it's Friday. It also tells me i need another beer. ;)

FROM: Andy
DATE: Friday June 27, 2003 -- 4:14:04 am
Yeah, I noticed the Friday thing too. But we can just blame the French for that as well as the yogurt.

And who's getting the beers in?

FROM: capo
DATE: Thursday July 3, 2003 -- 9:39:16 am
Stonyfield? Bleah. When Dannon "downsized" I was looking for a substitute and tried Stonyfield. I didn't like the taste or the nattering about how they were saving the world by not using plastic covers. I settled on Columbo.

FROM: Mary Urso
DATE: Thursday September 4, 2003 -- 3:46:52 pm
I was told that Dannon was owned by the same parent company that owns Yoplait, a french company. I have been boycotting since I am boycotting French products. Are you now telling me that General Mills is owned by a french conglomerate or are you telling me that Dannon is not owned by the french parent company of Yoplait? Or is Greg C. right in saying that Yoplait is owned by a french company and distributed by Columbo? Please get to the bottom of this so I will know which yogurt I can eat. No french yogurt in my belly, none of my money in a french pocket!

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 4, 2003 -- 5:34:05 pm
And why are you boycotting French products? Because French corporations took a stand against the war? Oh wait, that was the French government...

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday September 4, 2003 -- 6:06:58 pm
Ooh! Ooh! I smell another Freedom Fries debate coming!! Ooh! Ooh!

FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday September 4, 2003 -- 10:28:18 pm
I find it hard to partake in another FF debate since I have French blood in my veins.


FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday September 5, 2003 -- 9:27:15 am
I promise not to bring French-blooded people into the debate...In reality, there probably won't be one..I guess it was just wishful thinking. Haven't had any real good screaming matches since then. (The Best Buy ping doesn't count, because I was laughing at them, not yelling. ;p)

FROM: jk
DATE: Friday September 5, 2003 -- 10:01:30 am
I know, I know. I just find it hard to believe that people can sterotype an entire nation of people because of the actions of just a few.

The perfect definition of discrimination? Maybe!

DATE: Friday September 5, 2003 -- 8:23:36 pm
To all of you...I too have french blood in my veins. Big deal! First and foremost I am an AMERICAN. If you don't think that population, government, and corporations are all interrelated, you are either naive or stupid. As for the everyday frenchman, many of them don't care much for Americans, but no debate here. You enjoy your french yogurt. I prefer to stay away from it; thank you very much!

FROM: E Leventhal
DATE: Sunday November 2, 2003 -- 7:44:28 pm
Dannon is smaller for sure, but the taste got worse too. I'm switching to Yoplait

FROM: serena
DATE: Thursday November 6, 2003 -- 9:20:15 pm
Yoplait is a french company. However, General Mills (yes, the american manufacturer of Honey Nut Cheerios) bought the manufacturing rights for the brand in the US Market. Columbo is also a brand under General Mills' portfolio. While some may think they are cannabalizing their own products/brands, they are infact quite smart, as the different brands cater to a very different consumer. Similar scenario with Proctor and Gamble's Tide & Cheer Washing detergents.
Dannone on the other hand is a competitor.

FROM: gwen
DATE: Sunday November 30, 2003 -- 7:41:15 pm
Quote: "General Mills owns both companies..."
->Not really actually General Mills uses Yoplait as a franchise.

FROM: Margaret
DATE: Thursday December 18, 2003 -- 12:08:49 am
In Brooklyn, the yogurt wars have chang avaiabilty of Columbo in the supermarkets. No of the small markets carry it - only the teeny 6oz Dannon (I used to buy at 8oz) Have to search for an 8 ozer - find only at Key Food. So not only is there downsizing but a crowding out of the 8 oz. Anywone else notice this or know how is is being done. It forces those in a hurry to buy their $%!## brand.

FROM: Thomas Brenner
DATE: Tuesday July 5, 2005 -- 7:13:36 pm
We have been buying Columbo yogurt for years. We've tried the others but none of the other brands come close to the flavor and consistency of Columbo, especially the Fruit! I WANT MY COUMBO BACK!!!!

Janet May 11, 2007, 7:38 pm

I used to work for General Mills. They own the Yoplait name in the U.S. and manufacture and distribute it. It’s one of their divisions. Colombo is totall owned by General Mills. They are very different products catering to different tastes, just like Fiber One and Lucky Charms – totally different products – same company (General Mills)!

Bob October 19, 2007, 2:50 pm

I also worked at the Yoplait/Colombo plant here in Methuen Mass. We made both Yoplait and Colombo yogurts right there in the same building with the production lines right next to each other. Funny thing is I wouldn’t eat yogurt until I started working there and now I love it. Also General Mills really takes good care of there employees.

Greg B October 14, 2011, 12:32 pm

I like General Mills products and esp. the yogurt, it just tastes better, Dannon is ok. Yoplait maybe a French thing, but its good, when I hit the store I just get some of everything (yogurt), it’s a good thing for your body. Yes the French Government did not back us up at first in the war, but the French people are the best, it’s their government that were the cowards, not the people. My son was in Iraq with the 101st Airborne and they sent home some soldiers in body bags, no thanks to the French government for their nonhelp. Lets keep this a yogurt issue, not a combat one.

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