New York cafeterias may choose Greek yogurt for their lunch menus.
Texture is in for a big change-up in New York school districts. The state is part of a pilot program to introduce Greek yogurt as an option for students, an experiment of just how much students want their daily protein.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will add the thicker, tangier alternative to normal yogurt to the list of foods schools can select with their U.S.D.A. entitlement money.
There are benefits to going Greek: it contains almost double the protein, half the sodium and fewer carbs than a typical serving of Yoplait or Dannon. But it costs double, too, and the texture is often the biggest complaint for those who refuse to get on the bandwagon.
It's no wonder that New York-based Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya praised Schumer and the U.S.D.A. for their efforts. Chobani will certainly have an interest in competing for the bid to supply the product, both in New York and nationwide if students pick up the spoon.
The problem is, kids don't care about their protein intake. They care about what tastes good and what looks cool at the lunch table. If the Greek suppliers find a way to make the yogurt what you trade your Gushers for, it might have a shot. But it's a long jump from wanting kids to eat healthier and actually getting them to do so, especially with a product that carries such a nouveau riche vibe.
Ultimately, cost and popularity will determine success. Perhaps the 10-year-old palate is more cultured these days. Or maybe it still longs for cotton candy Trix.