While many trends come and go, I think the plant-based phenomenon is here to stay—forever. Many companies have not only introduced innovative takes on classic eats, but have found ways of doing so that are arguably more delicious than the originals—yeah, I said it! One such company that is accomplishing this feat in flying colors is COYO, an organic coconut milk yogurt producer that is making major strides for plant-based alternatives simply by offering a product too enjoyable to turn away.
I had the chance to chat with Jerry Schwartz, COYO’s Chief Growth Officer, to learn more about how this Australian company has infiltrated the yogurt category and introduced consumers to what I’m sure many would describe as their new guilty pleasure obsession.
“COYO first started in Australia 12 years ago when our Founder realized there was no one making a coconut based yogurt. Since then, we have expanded our brand and launched in the UK eight years ago and in North America six years ago,” Jerry shared with me. “We’ve differentiated ourselves in the category by emphasizing simple ingredients. In fact, we only use three ingredients: 98 percent organic coconut cream, organic tapioca starch, and seven live probiotics. It’s quite a simple product, but our yogurt offers consumers a mouth-feel and texture that is different from every other product on the market.”
COYO’s original line consists of five flavors: mango, vanilla bean, mixed berry, chocolate, and natural—which Jerry noted is the bestseller due to its versatility. In fact, many consumers have found COYO’s natural coconut yogurt to be a great base for salad dressings, soups, and marinades because of its creamy texture and flavor. Of course, the entire line of yogurts also works well as a breakfast item, mid-morning snack, and sweet dessert boasting no added sugars and gluten-free and kosher-certified statuses.
And COYO isn’t just a one trick pony either. The company recently expanded into the drinkable yogurt category with a new line of organic-certified Kefirs, available in 20-ounce bottles in three flavors (natural, mango, and vanilla bean). The new line increases COYO’s visibility in a crowded dairy market, while also introducing consumers to a unique item they won’t be able to forget.
“And that’s still not all we’ve accomplished lately! Last year, we also made moves to reduce our price to a lower price, which doubled our sales as a result. This move also helped us get noticed by a larger number of conventional, natural, and specialty retailers. Overall, growth has been spectacular,” Jerry said. “We also became the only coconut alternative yogurt on the market that is certified organic, and we did so without raising the price. I’d say it’s a pretty good deal for such a high-quality product.”
With so much accomplished this last year alone, I couldn’t help but wonder what else COYO is cooking up in order to stay at the top of the alternative yogurt game.
“We really want to spend more time expanding into foodservice now that plant-based products are on everybody’s minds. We came out with a four-pound tub for smoothie bars and a five-gallon pail for restaurants and bakeries, but we want to keep innovating and seeing what we can come up with," Jerry concluded.
For more inside looks at companies setting the bar in deli, dairy, bakery, and specialty foods, keep reading Deli Market News.