Update (2/6/2016): Now I’ve switched to eating mostly Siggi’s Skyr (Icelandic yogurt) or if not available, then plain Greek Yogurt with either Parchayi’s homemade jam or Trader Joe’s reduced sugar (these just have less sugar, no substitutes) preserves.
Update (8/26/14): Now I’ve switched to mostly eating Greek Yogurt, which doesn’t contain gelatin and is a lot tastier. Watch out for “Greek Style” ones though.
I’ve noticed that most flavored yogurts in grocery stores have gelatin in them. Now there is no particular reason Yogurt needs gelatin. I would venture to guess that gelatin is cheaper than yogurt and is a tasteless filler material that probably saves companies money and makes the consistency arguably better.
However personally, I see no particular consistency difference in yogurts with and without gelatin so I say it is all a gimmick to save money and also cheat customers into paying more for so called “All Natural” products which have fewer nasty ingredients. Dannon is one major national brand which does this – try to sell you a more expensive “All Natural” yogurt.
Proof that gelatin is more of a filler than for consistency comes from the fact that even yogurt drinks such as Danimals contain gelatin. Even expensive ones such as La Crème contain gelatin! I examined the possibility that gelatin could increase the nutrition of yogurts because of the high amount of protein, however gelatin causes a net loss of protein.
Note to vegetarians – almost all gelatin in food products comes from animals (e.g. Dannon’s comes from cattle hide). There are many brands of yogurt that contain no gelatin especially organic brands and yogurt marked “all natural”.
Some brands that I know of are Stonyfield Farm, Brown Cow (their cream top yogurts are my new favorite), Horizon, Dannon All Natural only, Harris Teeter store brand. If you know of others, please comment and I’ll add to this list.