Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Google & Unsplash
Words: Shamim de Brún
Images: Google & Unsplash
Lidl Protein Yoghurts are on your FYP, even if you’re not into bulking up. They’re in your nanny’s fridge. You’re parents are asking you if you’ve heard of them. They’re cavorting around like they’re the new air fryer.
On socials, they rack up views like Pedro Pascal memes. On TikTok “Lidl Protein Yoghurts” has 31.1 million views. Twitter is full of people looking for connects so they can get their hands on them. On Reddit, they punctuate r/Ireland, desperate to find any Lidl that still has them in stock.
They have crept into every level of Irish civilisation. Lidl’s Protein Yoghurt is the latest craze in an enduring human quest for one substance we can consume limitlessly. But why Lidl Protein Yoghurts?
Yoghurt historically attracts cult-like devotion. The Greek and Roman empires were mad for it. Genghis Khan and Indian records call yoghurt a “food of the Gods”. Irish people, in general, love dairy. We disproportionately consume it at every age and demographic compared with most other countries. So if you combine our national love of yoghurt with the global protein craze, you get the Lidl Protein Yogurt (LPY) infatuation.
@emiliaamoore if you try anything, please try the protein puddings😍 #lidl #highprotein #highproteinmeals #gymtok #gymlife ♬ Afraid To Feel – LF SYSTEM
The LPY is a small pot with 20g of solid protein in a 200g pot. This is actually the same amount of protein as the average Greek Yoghurt. They’re packaged like a lynx can. Black with electric colours in strong, bold, masculine fonts. Made to appeal to the protein bro.
Yoghurt has always been associated with protein. Back in the 80s, it’s what beach bodybuilders like Arnie were munching on. Terry Crews is a famously great example. The crew at Brookyn 99 noticed he ate loads of yoghurts, so the writers wrote it in. Thus popularising the archetype of the yoghurt fitness guy.
Protein and male fitness are as ubiquitous as a supermodel with the superfood green goddess salad. It has a halo effect that redeems food we consider bad. In the nutrition wars, protein has emerged as the last macronutrient standing, and the mythology of protein holds that more is always better.
So how do you get enough? The LPY certainly helps because you can add it to an average meal, and then boom, you have 20g of protein. You can have it pre-gym, post-gym, first thing in the morning, with porridge or granola. The LPY is portable to accompany you on your busy protein-fueled life. It doesn’t need to be cooked, mixed or prepped in any time-intensive way. You can use these protein yoghurts as building blocks to add protein to recipes. You can make protein bread, protein pancakes, a sriracha dip and more.
‘Fuel first’ is the MO of protein foods. But these yoghurts are among the few foods that taste good simultaneously—especially vanilla and chocolate. According to TikTok, they actually have a lovely texture where, as their competitors are chalky and lumpy. Sometimes protein products can seem off-putting and scary. Some protein powders even contain arsenic. So buying the ubiquitous LPY makes it a decent gateway into high-protein foods for the cautious.
LPYs are also affordable. The correlation between the accessibility of a product and its online virality is undeniable. Doubly so on GainsTok. The high-protein lifestyle is expensive. So high that some have begun to try dog food to insert more protein into their diets at an affordable rate.
The word protein emblazoned on Lidl’s yoghurts morphs them into a virtuous choice. They symbolise self-restraint and a pert arse. When we reach for Lidl’s protein yoghurt, we reach for an optimised version of ourselves: lean, fit, and strong. The LPY is the ultimate snack. When you reach for it, you’re not giving in to the tea and biscuits of our ancestors and their spare tire physique. Instead, you are “Power Snacking” and getting your protein in. This makes you feel like you have achieved enlightenment.
@leanwithlaurenx Protein pudding hack #lidlproteinpudding #lidl #lidlfinds #healthysubstitutes #weightlosstips #caloriecountingireland #gymlife #fyp #proteinpudding ♬ Get You The Moon – Kina
These yoghurts also come doctor-recommended. Elderly people often land in hospitals with protein deficiencies. Doctors, then this protein yoghurt is an excellent way to get all the protein they need in one go. It’s cheap enough for a pensioner and not so far removed from the foods they grew up with.
Plus, Lidl is where many can shop for their messages these days anyway, so they don’t even have to go out of their way to adopt this habit. Unless it’s out of stock, which is chronically often.
People walk out of those shops with whole trays of these protein yoghurts. Which creates a scarcity. The fact that they always sell out in Lidls all over the country means that entire subreddits are dedicated to finding them. People tweet pics when they have secured their hoard. Then people who have yet to try them get ever more curious, so their scarcity increases the likelihood of noobs impulse buying them when they see some.
It’s a vicious cycle of free publicity that you would be forgiven for thinking that Lidl had manufactured. However, the scarcity comes from the Brits. These bad boys are produced in the UK, meaning they suffer from the well-documented food production and distribution issues that Brexit birthed.
How long the LPY phenomenon will last is anyone’s guess. Will they become as entrenched as air fryers or go the way of the Wispa? Only the yoghurt deities truly know for sure.
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