There's an excellent podcast from BBC Food Programme on the Greek yogurt bloom. Yes, the obsession extends beyond America. I think this obsession caught on the end of the yogurt train starting from the 70s and got off at today's healthy-loving era. Simultaneously, people are on this "I need more protein!"kick. The reason Greek yogurt has more protein is because the yogurt is strained with more liquid (whey) removed. This makes a more concentrated product than regular yogurt, hence more nutrient dense especially protein.
Its texture and tanginess that often off puts people. My self included, at least at first until I tried Fage. It's one of the best tasting Greek yogurt I ever had. But at more that $5 a carton, sometimes the cost throws me off. It's a love-hate relationship.
You probably guess by now, I did what any frugal foodie would do.
I made my own yogurt. I can't exactly call this "Greek yogurt" since this was not made in Greece. (Read about the debacle on Chobani's loses on "Greek Yogurt" Legal Battle in U.K. over the use of the word "Greek"). But the idea is I make yogurt, strain yogurt, enjoy yogurt.
The process is very simple, but requires some "babying" and time. I used a neck heat pad to maintain the temperature at 90-110 degrees. But there are lots of methods on maintaining the temperature, such as setting the oven at warm (or cooler) and incubate the yogurt over warm water. Some recipes called for dried milk powder for better texture, but mine turned out great. Straining time all depends on how thick you like the yogurt to be. The leftover liquid (whey) can be used to make bread, ricotta cheese (if you are bringing this homesteading to the next level), juicing, soups, etc...
Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt
Recipe adapted from seriouseats.com
4 cups of good quality milk (fat percentage is up to you)
2 tablespoons of yogurt (as starter; Greek or regular is fine)