There are a lot of plant-based yogurts on the market right now, and a lot of them are really good. However, for those who are concerned about their health or the environment, many of these yogurts have a problem: sugar and plastic content. Some yogurts can contain up to 20 grams of sugar, and plastic is the most common packaging for yogurt. UNNICO is launching into crowded plant yogurt to offer a plant-based yogurt without sugar packaged in ceramic.
I spoke with Nicolas Riggio, the founder of UNNICO, on the phone this week to talk about the company’s products and the upcoming market launch. Riggio said the company will bring six initial products to market in March or April. UNNICO’s oat-based yogurt will be available in four flavors, plain, bourbon vanilla, strawberry and mixed berry. Coconut Cream Yogurt will be available in three flavors, Strawberry Cheesecake, Caramel Salt, and Cookies and Cream. None of the yogurts will have added sugars, but will use an alternative sweetener called allulose that doesn’t raise blood sugar at all.
The initial herbal cheese product will be an almond and pea protein cream cheese that contains 3 grams of protein, with more flavors to come in the future. The company will also offer a dessert, a dark chocolate ganache made from coconut milk with only 6 grams of sugar.
What really sets UNNICO products apart from other plant-based dairy products is the terracotta packaging. All the products mentioned above will be delivered in terracotta packaging. When the D2C platform and UNNICO’s subscription service are up and running, consumers can order these products and then return the terracotta packaging for a discount on future orders. The terracotta used will then be recycled to make materials like bricks. This idea is reminiscent of the old rectangular Heineken bottles; the bottles were designed so that when empty they could be used to build houses in disadvantaged areas.
There are several manufacturers of plant-based yogurts that use an alternative to plastic, such as Coconut Cult and Culina for example. Both of these coconut-based yogurts come in glass packaging, which is good because the glass jars can be reused. Although glass is considered more durable than plastic, it still takes a decent amount of energy to produce glass and transport it.
When UNNICO products launch in early spring, they will first be available in grocery stores, delis and department stores in the New York City area. Yogurt and ganache will sell for between $ 3.69 and $ 3.89, while cream cheese will retail for $ 6.99.