I have a confession to make, I have a (not so) secret identity: I am a BzzAgent. Does this mean I wear a cape at nights and fight crime? Sadly not, but it does mean I get to try different products and then spread my honest feedback of them to others, which is almost as cool! (See the website for more information.)
Recently I have been part of a Benecol BzzAgent campaign and as part of this I was able to try the Strawberry Yogurt drinks. The Benecol range of products comprises spreads, yogurts, yogurt drinks, dairy free drinks and cream cheeses which contain plant extracts with the proven ability to reduce cholesterol. Cholesterol itself is a fat-like substance which is essential in the body in a certain form and in small amounts. However, high levels of so-called "bad" cholesterol lead to narrowing of arteries and increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes. It is a serious problem with research estimating it being the cause of over 60% of all deaths from coronary heart disease. (For more information on cholesterol and its risks you can visit the Benecol website.)
The drinks themselves come in a pack of six small plastic bottles held together by a cardboard outer pack. The bottles are quite attractive and easy to open, containing a convenient single 67.5g serving of the drink. The yogurt drink itself smells pleasant and has a nice fruity taste. The quality of the product is good and compares favourably with other yogurt drinks I have had in the past.
For me, however, there are a number of downsides to the product. The first problem was that the portion size was too small. In the case of other products in the range, you can simply replace your normal product (eg spread) with one which will help reduce cholesterol, which I think is great. In this case, however, I found the bottles simply did not contain enough to satisfy and I had a couple together on several occasions after the first one left me wanting more! In terms of the plant extract, the bottle contains enough for a whole day (compared to 2-3 servings of the other products as recommended by the company), which is good, but I would have preferred it to be topped up with more of the yogurt! Secondly, the product is quite expensive:- the pack was about £3.80 for the six days supply, which could soon add up if taken every day. Given the size of the portions, the product seems to be meant to be more of a dietary supplement, with the yogurt drink providing a nice flavour/way of ingestion. For me, however, I would prefer to use the other products as replacements for things I already eat and have a larger portion of a different yogurt drink, if that is what I want.
Personally I can't really comment on the effect on lowering my cholesterol as this would need to be checked over time (effects should be seen within 2-3 weeks), but as someone with a family history of high cholesterol I would reccommend the range in general as the claims behind the product seem to be scientifically justified. However, unless you have been explicitly diagnosed with high cholesterol yourself I would perhaps suggest other products in the range over these particular yogurt drinks and would not reccomend them if you explicitly want a yogurt drink, since there is so little in a single portion.
Thank you for reading. Review may also appear on Ciao.