Debut: Califia Farms launches first dairy-free probiotic yogurt


23 Feb 2018 --- Dairy alternatives manufacturer Califia Farms has launched a breakthrough line of dairy-free yogurt drinks made with the Califia Culture Blend. This distinct trio of 10 billion live, active probiotic CFUs is powered by a specific BB-12 strain developed by Chr. Hansen for dairy alternatives last year. Califia Farms is the first to batch ferment the BB-12 strain in a non-dairy yogurt. 

“Increasingly, consumers are realizing the importance of probiotics because of their enormous digestive and immune health benefits,” says Greg Steltenpohl, CEO, Califia Farms. “And until now, there hasn't been a non-dairy yogurt that delivers the delicious taste and creamy texture people want.”

Click to EnlargeIn September 2017, NutritionInsight’s sister website, FoodIngredientsFirst, reported on Chr. Hansen’s fermented cultures for plant-based dairy alternatives which it launched in response to the needs of health-conscious consumers. The probiotic fermentation starter cultures bring the mild, fresh taste and smooth texture from yogurt into plant-based alternatives. 

Lasse Vigel Jørgensen, Global Commercial Development Manager at Chr. Hansen, explained: “As the market leader for starter cultures, we intensively study the new market needs and track up-and-coming trends that change the food and beverage industry. Now we are ready to launch a series of cultures for dairy alternatives that enable the producer to make healthy plant-based products with the qualities we traditionally ascribe to dairy yogurt.”

“First and foremost our cultures bring the mild and fresh taste and smooth texture we know from yogurt into plant-based alternatives. They produce safe and healthy products, and with a version of 'world’s best documented probiotic' Bifidobacterium BB-12, we can bring the goodness of probiotics to consumers who do not consume dairy yogurts on a daily basis.” 

BB-12 has been scientifically proven to support gastrointestinal health. While health is a key consumer purchase driver, the dairy alternatives products still have to taste good. Chr. Hansen is renowned for its ability to develop cultures that can bring out the best in food and ensure the taste that is required by selective consumers.

Speaking about the Califia launch, Jørgensen tells NutritionInsight that “It is the first public launch of our BB-12 in a fresh dairy alternative (yogurt alternative) after the launch of our cultures. There are several other on the way too.” 

“It is especially important and interesting that they communicate on probiotics in a trustworthy manner,” he adds.

Available in both multi-serve and single-serve, the yogurt drinks are available in four dairy-free varieties – Strawberry, Super Berry, Mango and Unsweetened Plain – which are all flavored from real fruit. Through the launch of their yogurt drinks, Califia Farms says it is "set to disrupt a new category and build upon the skyrocketing success that the brand has achieved with nut milks and coffee."

In 2016, Califia Farms accounted for 75 percent of the nut-milk category growth in the natural channel. The company aims to continue this success through the launch of their yogurt drinks, which also mark Califia Farms' expansion into an all-new category.

Launching Spring 2018, Califia Farms reports that the yogurt drinks are an easy dairy-free swap for an existing meal or snack, and can be consumed by themselves, mixed with granola, added to a smoothie. Moreover, the yogurts are non-GMO, dairy-free gluten free, vegan, kosher and free of carrageenan.

By Lucy Gunn