The Israeli start-up’s ‘Only’ plant-based yoghurt line targets the fast expanding vegan, flexitarian, and lactose-intolerant markets.
According to Yofix CEO Steve Grun, the product’s ingredient profile sets itself apart within the alternative yoghurt market. Rather than working with only soy, or just almond or coconuts, Yofix’s product is made with oats, lentils, sunflower and sesame seeds, and coconut, he told FoodNavigator.
In addition, the texture is ‘fuller’ than yoghurt, providing a feeling of satiety, he continued: “With our products…you [really] feel like you have eaten something, it gives you energy to go for a couple of hours.”
From a health perspective, Yofix’s fermented product contains live probiotic cultures and the prebiotic fibres that feed them. With 3% natural protein, dietary fibres, and iron, Grun said the product offers greater health benefits than protein-rich dairy-free yoghurt alternatives that don’t contain fibre.
No ‘additive’ shortcuts
Another point of difference is Yofix’s ‘clean label’ offering – a term associated with products containing few, authentic ingredients.
Whereas some dairy-free products use gums and thickeners to stabilise them, Grun told us “clean label is our overall approach”.
“We don’t add any thickeners, we don’t add emulsifiers, we don’t add any flavouring. It’s a [true] clean label approach and we think that’s what people want to see.
“People are fed up with looking at [food labels] and seeing all kinds of ingredients that they don’t know. We are not shortcutting [the product development process] by [introducing] additives,” said Grun.
PepsiCo puts €100,000 in the bank
Earlier this month, Yofix Probiotics won PepsiCo’s 2018 European Nutrition Greenhouse Programme. During the six-month incubator programme, the Yofix scaled up its operations, completed a manufacturing facility, and launched its product line of dairy-free, soy-free yoghurt alternatives.
PepsiCo has awarded the firm a prize of €100,000, which Yofix CEO Steve Grun said will help boost expansion.
“We are conducting market research and would like to invest the money into marketing and sales tools…branding and design. The full 360 degrees of marketing.”
A unique, zero waste production method
Yofix touts an environmentally-friendly approach to manufacturing. Its unique production process is designed to ensure zero waste, meaning that all raw materials used in the manufacturing process remain in the finished product.
“[Unlike] soy or almonds or coconut, where you are left with pulp…we use all our ingredients. There is no waste in this production process,” said Grun.
In addition, the product has a lower carbon footprint than some of its competitors, as Yofix ingredients require less water to cultivate than other plants, such as almonds or cashew.
What’s next for Yofix?
Having just launched nationwide in Israel, where the brand’s three flavours – berries, apple and cinnamon, banana and apple – are stocked in approximately 1,500 stores, the start-up said distribution is increasing every week.
“We are already planning the next stage to go international, focusing on Western Europe first.”
Yofix also has plans to develop new plant-based dairy substitutes for milk, yoghurt drinks, cream cheese, coffee creamers and ice-cream.
“Based on our production process and our ingredients, we can change the fluidity and the density of our recipes. So [we can] make it more fluid, and instead of a spoonable product today, we can have a drinkable yoghurt tomorrow,” said Grun.