the great asana taste test

 

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Yoplait Asana looks right at home in my fridge.

After a heroic search through the grocery stores in my neighbourhood, I finally located some Yoplait Asana (none of the “fruiteries” – that’s what people in Montréal call the fruit/veggie markets – and health food stores I normally frequent carried the stuff). So by popular demand, I bring you The Great Yoplait Taste Test!

Before I get into the actual yogourt itself, I just want to point out the excessive packaging. Eight individual containers wrapped in cardboard. Not cool, Yoplait. The yogourt wasn’t even available in a larger container (although according to their website, it does come in a 650 g version).

I selected the Strawberry/Fieldberry option over the Peach/Vanilla. I had one of each the Strawberry and Fieldberry ~ one is purplish and one is pinkish, but they taste pretty much the same. The flavour… how do I describe the flavour? A bit like plastic, really. Smooth, creamy plastic.  To be honest, I find that most commercial yogourts taste a little plastic-y. I think it’s the pectin, gelatin and cornstarch.

I wish I had more to say about the taste of this yogourt, but I don’t. I find it more interesting as a cultural artifact. And really, while I’m always on the watch for blatant commercialization and misrepresentation of yoga, I think this product is quite innocuous and amusing.

What it says is that marketers have caught on to the power of yoga’s commercial pull. Yoplait wanted to add a new product to it’s family of yogourt (which also includes fat-free and aspartame-free Source, cheese-infused Minigo, and spoon-free Tubes which come in flavours “Babang” and “Kaboum”), and they wanted something that would appeal to the health-conscious, calcium-concerned moms.

The word asana suggests health, strength and flexibility ~ if you actually know what it means. I think most people think yoga is yoga and poses are poses, and the word will have no major emotional pull.

And this yogourt is certainly  not the first product to appropriate the word asana. Today I was browsing through a trendy casual clothing store and I found an adorable wrap-style dress. I checked the tag (for the price, which was way out of my league) and found that it was called the Asana Tunic. I think that almost every yoga clothing company has an asana pant, and there are even chairs and weightloss products.

So we’ll see how this plays out. I suspect that the Yoplait Asana will be on the cooler shelves for a year or two, and then fade away (or be replaced with Yoplait Pilates ~ which has a nice ring, actually).

 

 

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  1. lol plastic-y. so true.

    i have to admit- that i adore lole…. but have never bought a single item- so expensive! aren’t they out of montreal?

    argh- packaging. you know- you could send the plastic yogourt containers to the Gimme 5 program that I linked… unless montreal accepts them in their recycling pick-up? i seem to remember that we just put ANYTHING in our little blue bin (and it usually was a race to see if we could put it out in the morning before pick up hah).

    Yay for taste testing!

    • I love Lolë too! All of their stuff is so beautiful.

      Montrealers do put anything in their recycling bins (though apparently all of the stuff that can’t be recycled just gets chucked). I’ll put these little containers in my bin and see what happens. Then I’ll just go back to buying my hippie biodynamic Pinehedge Farms yogourt which comes in a jar (perfect for bulk goods, or refundable for a dollar) and is available only in one flavour: plain!

  2. Another great article!

    May I ask, what does “asana” mean, as you’ve come to understand it through your own practice? I find there is a lot of misinterpretation of Sanskrit and Pali terms taken from Buddhist and yoga practice, and many people and corporations have used these words to appeal to the “New Age” consumer who’s interested in a better way of living, for lack of a better description. Many consumers, it seems, simply want to associate themselves with these terms without really exploring what they mean or where they came from.

    • Very good observations, Amy! I completely agree that these Sanskrit and Pali terms have been misinterpreted and “consumerized” to appeal to people’s desire to live healthy, holistic lives.

      For me, “asana” means posture or pose. My understanding is that it originally meant seat ~ when the word appeared in the Yoga Sutra (a 2nd century yogic scripture) as the third “limb” (on a 8-step system) of yoga, it simply meant the posture for meditation. Over the centuries, as the range of postures developed, the meaning of the word evolved.

      • Ah, I thought that’s what it meant but I wanted to check with you, since you have training and experience!

        Thanks Roseanne!

  3. This is a fun blog, Roseanne, although I was distracted trying to figure out what is all that other virtuous looking stuff in your fridge.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

    • heh- you know what’s funny? I recognized almost every one! lol- president’s choice “biologique” and the natura- soy milk? almond milk??

      I was totally checking out your fridge too!

      • Yep, I’ve got some President’s Choice “biologique” tomato sauce, Natura rice milk, free run eggs, parmesan cheese ~ and in the back corner, a jar of maple syrup. I was being a little sarcastic about the individually-packaged Yoplait yogourts looking “right at home” in there. I think they look hilariously out of place.

        There’s nothing like the intimacy of somebody’s fridge, non?

  4. I’ve never been much of a yogurt eater, though I’m told I should be. Gotta admit, when I first saw the title up there, I thought this was gonna be about the taste of actual asanas…and wondering how exactly that would work–figuring initially that it could involve how much sweat is produced…except that other factors, like the heat of the room and what you were doing before that asana, would likely play a bigger part in that…like, I mean, if you went to one of those Bikram classes, I’m betting all the asanas would be pretty…um…flavorful…whereas in one of those really mellow yin classes, not so much. Of course there’d also be major differences between hippie yoga, Hollywood yoga, and suburban housewife yoga involving various additives….. Or could we possibly be talking more about, um, y’know…tasting people in that other way…which could, I’d think, be heavily affected by what posture they’re in…and, no doubt, the ability to perform could depend a lot on that…like, y’know, don’t think I’d even try while doing garudasana or something…certainly state of mind’d be a factor, there, too…and the real crunchy organic type yogis (like, ahem, you and eco-yogini based on the fridge photo and comments above) would taste a lot different than the sometimes-healthy-but-also-junkfood-addicted like yours truly….wow, I’m even grossing myself out, now…sorry…

    • Hmmm… I imagine a Bikram class would taste rather salty, actually (with a little bit of plastic). An ashtanga class might be a bit chewy, like beef jerky. And an Anusara class might have a slightly sweet, flowery flavour. As for the taste of yogis, Dr Jay… it sounds like you’re getting into the Halloween spirit a little early (cannibal).

  5. For anyone who has never done yoga, the word asana may not ring a bell at all and would not be a good marketing tool. If you know what the word means and because of that you get influenced into buying that product, than the marketing is right on the money. Evolution is a process, which sometimes takes a loooooooooooooooong time…

    About the packaging, I do think they did a very nice job. The colours are nice, trendy, and overall pleasant to the eyes. They have the same type of packaging as most of the other yogourt so no more no less. Could it be better? Yes. But so could a whole lot of products. I am not here to defend the ultra-marketing approach most companies have a tendency to take but if you want your product or service to sell, it must look nice and appeal to people. Just take Roseanne’s blog. Its look is simple but the top banner is very nice and it says something about her. And even though most people read her blog because of the content, I am sure the initial look we took when we first visited her site contributed in the initial impression we have of it.

    Look is not everything but perception is part of how we see the world around us. It is whether we can go past the initial impression and see what is really inside that counts. And if you like that yogourt, even with a name life that, just enjoy it! If you don’t, then don’t buy it again 😉

  6. I purchased the 650g container of strawberry-flavoured Asana yogurt.

    I had some before class but my performance did not improve.

    Oh, well. At least the packaging is unique!