The fruits of the earth have been turned into the fruits of the plant-based market, as AYO Almondmilk Yogurt continues to shake the sector. Founder and third-generation organic almond farmer Matt Billings took a beat with me to divulge some of the achievements along the way—and what is yet to come.
“First and foremost, we wanted to make an almond-based product that tastes great and consumers love. When we decided to move beyond almond farming, we looked at several different products and were convinced we could make an amazing yogurt with the organic almonds we grow in our orchards. Consumers have told us we succeeded,” Matt told me. “We currently make our AYO yogurt in blueberry, peach, strawberry, and vanilla. As we continue to grow, we will stay true to our vision and create delicious and nutritious plant-based yogurts.”
Matt explained that AYO is still focused every day on making an excellent-tasting yogurt backed by plant-based proteins, probiotics, and 20 organic almonds per cup. You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to enjoy this yogurt, because AYO satisfies many demands as some shoppers make the shift from dairy.
“Market trends continue to show the growth of non-dairy yogurts in the marketplace,” he shared. “While the trends are encouraging for our brand, we simply want to make a product that consumers really enjoy eating. We are not trying to be an alternative to any other product.”
Another differentiator of this brand, AYO is vertically integrated and controls every step of the process, growing and harvesting the product before it is blanched, roasted, and ground into almond butter, which is used to make yogurt.
Fresh off of its recent success, Matt revealed that AYO is working to expand both its product portfolio and its footprint.
“We are currently working on a plain yogurt with less than 2 grams of sugar as well as exploring a larger tub size in plain and possibly other flavors, too,” Matt said, adding how physical expansion is also on the books. “ Each week, we are adding more distribution to meet the demand for our yogurt.”
Clearly this is one plant-based brand to keep a close eye on. Deli Market News will be sure to keep you in the loop as we learn the latest.