The Dairy-Free Vegan Yogurt That Is Taking Vancouver by Storm
Yoggu is a dairy-free, fermented vegan yogurt-style product created locally in Vancouver, BC, and it’s slowly but surely popping up in stores around the city. It may seem like an unassuming yogurt visually, but this dairy-free product packs a serious punch.
Yoggu first caught my eye at VegExpo, Vancouver’s largest Vegetarian/Vegan convention that welcomed over 15,000 people in 2018. Yoggu had a minimalistic table with a large aluminum bowl filled with ice. On top of the mountain of ice, 5 small jars filled with yogurt were propped up. I decided to try a sample since I was curious how fermented yogurt tasted like and the line was moving steadily. Before taking a bite, I imagined that it would taste similar to a dairy-free yogurt alternative. What I didn’t expect was the burst of tangy, slightly sour, tingling sensation in my mouth, reminiscent of kombucha. I remember taking the compostable tasting spoon from my mouth and saying, “Oh my God. It tastes alive.”
Because the impact Yoggu had left on me, I reached out to their founder and wellness junkie, Jade Herrmann, to learn more about their product.
Can you describe Yoggu in a few words?
J: Yoggu is dairy-free coconut probiotic yogurt made from real food ingredients.
What Inspired you to create Yoggu?
J: Yoggu started from my genuine passion for plant-based cooking. It soon transpired as an investigation into the foods we eat and the lack of transparency from food companies. As I started to pay more attention, I realized there was a lot of crap in what we ate, especially with dairy-free alternatives. Vegan food is often thought to be healthier, but that’s not always the case when you look closely at the ingredients. Yoggu is made from 100% real food ingredients. That was always important for me!
What makes Yoggu different?
J: Yoggu is the first of its kind in Vancouver and in BC (at least to my knowledge). Most dairy-free yogurts on the market use canned coconut milks, fillers, preservatives and small counts of probiotics. Yoggu is raw, contains zero fillers or preservatives and every jar has 100 billion probiotics.
Who else do you work with on Yoggu?
J: Currently Yoggu is run by myself. I take care of everything from production, delivery, marketing, accounting and much more. Over the past few months as volume of orders have increased, my mom has been a major help during production! Most recently I’ve hired my first real employee - a production assistant.
Can you explain what probiotics are and why Yoggu contains them?
J: Simply put, probiotics are good bacteria. Overtime bad bacteria can develop in the gut by way of sugars, stress and antibiotics to name a few. A healthy gut is key for immune function and reducing inflammation.
How has the response from the community been to your product?
J: The response has been wild! This shows that I wasn’t the only one fed up with all the other coconut yogurts on the market filled with crap. I’m happy to see people really investing in their food choices!
Can you describe Yoggu’s unique taste?
J: Yoggu, unlike many of the other coconut yogurts on the market is truly fermented. This means that the final product is tangy and lightly effervescent. I think it tastes very similar to a high quality plain dairy yogurt.
I’m Interested in how Yoggu’s unique flavour can be incorporated into dishes. What are ways that Yoggu can be used as an ingredient to enhance foods?
J: Since the product comes in a plain and strawberry flavour, I always suggest using the plain flavour in savoury dishes like in tzatzikii or in salad dressings! I’ve recently been enjoying Yoggu in both flavours with pumpkin puree and spices - so delicious!
How would you recommend a first-timer try Yoggu?
J: I always like to highlight the probiotic content to first-timers! Sometimes the taste can throw people off, because nothing like it exists on the market in Vancouver. It’s kind of like when Kombucha first came out! Nothing like it existed and it took a lot of getting used to. Now Kombucha is ubiquitous and is gaining a loyal fan base. I hope that Yoggu can follow in suit!
Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoggu?
J: I’m extremely passionate about transparency in the food industry and supporting local small businesses. Since starting Yoggu, I’ve met so many amazing food entrepreneurs and I have so much respect for everyone of them. I’m so grateful to be a a part of such a cool community!
If you’re curious about Yoggu and would like to give this tangy, probiotic yogurt a try, you can find it at health food establishments such as Be Fresh Local Market, Body Energy Club, Nada Grocery, and Nectar Juicery.
Find a full list of their stockists here. https://www.yoggu.ca/stockists/
About The Author
Sophia is a Noms Mag contributor whose passion and hunger for the developing Vancouver culinary scene fuels her writing. Outside following food, her interests include cooking and the fine arts.