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Slide over Siggis, Oikos, Chobani and Fage. Coconut Yogurt is here to take your shelf space.

How is coconut yogurt different than milk yogurt? Coconut (and other plant) yogurts will likely be higher fat content and less protein. They also may be higher calorie (although formulas differ widely). The good news is that coconut products are a rare source of a plant-based fat (avocados being the other major one). Avocados are known to be finnicky, so a coconut yogurt is a great source for “healthy fat”. 

For those with dairy intolerance, there is less of a need to avoid fermented dairy products like yogurt and cheese as the fermentation process metabolizes sugars that are in milk. The added probiotics that made Greek yogurt so popular essentially “eat” the sugar during the fermentation process. Coconut yogurt keeps the fermentation process that can be great for gut health while cutting the dairy altogether. 

An advantage to this trend is creating some delicious options without the reliance on industrial dairy farms and a corrupt “got milk” conglomerate. Milk is one of the top three most fraudulent foods today. 

The biggest potential issue with large production of coconut products is that it’s sourced from countries that may rely child slave labor. The only brand addressing this directly is Harmless Harvest who build their entire image on fair trade and regenerative agriculture. Attempts to regulate chocolate companies like Nestle and Hershey for child labor have failed, at the time of writing where Yoplait is sourcing it’s coconuts from isn’t readily available. Most coconut yogurt brands appear to be sourcing from Thailand. 

Price Comps: Yogurt is really deceptive on pricing. Each brand has slightly different container sizes which distorts how the pricing looks. Not to get too into the weeds, but if it’s a fridge staple it can add up. If each container were 5oz, the cheapest coconut brands are about $2.50 and the priciest is $4.00. In comparison, a dairy Greek yogurt like Fage is $1.50 for the same size. 

Plant Yogurts That Don’t Taste Good:  

Here’s the short list of brands that are high in added sugars and preservatives. They generally don’t taste good, have a watery and lumpy texture, and/or are vague about probiotics. These all exceed 10g of added sugar per serving. 

Oui by Yoplait, So Delicious, Forager Cashew Yogurt, Siggis, Silk Coconut Yogurt. 

Best Basic: Harmless Harvest ($) 

This is the brand that gained popularity with it’s pink coconut water. It has two ingredients and clearly lists the probiotic strains used. Zero added sugars. This is the only one I needed to add honey to flavor (the plain version), it tastes “okay” alone. It has a smooth European yogurt style texture that blends well. This is the only brand that promises ethically sourced coconuts. It appears flavored cups are with organic fruit, no added sugars. 

Best All-Round: Cocojune ($$) 

Cocojune has a really rich, creamy flavor that is (in my opinion) tastier than most dairy yogurts. It would be the easiest to substitute for cream, sour cream, or any recipe that calls for dairy. It is 2-ingredients with zero added sugars. It has a very clear probiotic list with a 30 billion probiotics. This less probiotic count than GT’s Cocoyo, but it targets specific strands. If you’re looking for a gut-health yogurt, it could be beneficial to investigate which strains are best for you. Different strands do different things. It’s flavored versions have a moderate amount added sugar (4-5g/serving). 

Best Healthful: Cocoyo ($$$) 

When pulling Cocoyo from the shelf, I didn’t realize it’s a GT’s product. I don’t know who else is buying GT’s 1.5 liter kombucha on a regular basis, but I’m glad someone else must be because stores are still carrying it for me. Apparently Cocoyo went out of business and was later revived by the GT’s brand. It looks more expensive, but there are two servings per large glass container.  It is very low calorie, so you can have both servings and it will still be less calories than it’s competitors. 

Cocoyo did not disappoint. Out of all of them, it’s the only one with a clear coconut flavor. It also has a tang to it, which tastes like a “living food” and makes it more versatile. GT’s is the only brand that determines “100 billion probiotics at time of bottling”. Aside from the probiotics, it’s a one-ingredient label of just coconuts. Its flavored versions have no added sugars

Recipe: Tastes amazing with a squeeze of lemon juice instead of a “sweetened” yogurt and can add chia seeds 10 minutes before serving for a tapioca-like texture. 

Best Greek Yogurt Texture: Culina ($$$) 

Culina was the OG to the coconut yogurt market. It started in farmers markets in the creator’s hometown Austin, TX (home of the original Whole Foods HQ) where it was eventually picked up by grocers, and yes, Whole Foods. 

Culina has the thicker consistency of Greek yogurt. The plain yogurt has no added sugars and has simple ingredients. It would be hard to tell the difference between Culina and dairy yogurt. One downside, the fun Culina flavored yogurts such as “Bourbon Vanilla” and “Blueberry Lavender” are higher in added sugar (8-10g/serving).