Nobody wanted to like Ripple yogurt more than me. As a recently diagnosed lactose intolerant person who loves ice cream, cheese, and yogurt more than most things, I’ve been having a hard time cutting down on dairy. So this week I decided to give Ripple, a brand about which I’d heard some great things, a go.

I bought their single-serve Greek Yogurt Alternative in strawberry flavor, which packs a whopping 12g of protein in its 150g serving size — roughly the same protein as dairy yogurt. Ripple is made of pea protein, meaning it’s soy and nut-free and safe for those with allergies. It also has added active cultures, meaning it’s gut-friendly like dairy yogurt.

I was optimistic when I dug in. Sadly, that optimism disappeared almost immediately.

The texture of the yogurt was actually pretty good: it was creamy and thick, not exactly Greek yogurt-level thick but still impressive. But the taste, sadly, was straight-up bad. The strawberry flavor came through lightly — there are pieces of strawberry throughout the yogurt — but it had an overwhelmingly artificial flavor, which led to a bitter, unpleasant aftertaste. The yogurt somehow dried out my mouth and tasted gritty, though its texture was smooth. Someone sitting across from me at my office noticed my disgusted face and asked me if I was okay. I threw it away after a few bites.

A harsh review, I know. I wish it wasn’t. I’m one of the growing number of people purchasing dairy alternatives for health or ethical reasons. I’m all for non-dairy products that don’t use almonds, which are very water-intensive and are pretty protein-poor. Ripple could have fulfilled my dairy-free needs while assuaging my environmental guilt — and pea protein has served us so well with Beyond burgers!

Ripple, which launched in 2016, also makes pea milk in original, vanilla, and chocolate flavors, a product called “half-and-half,” and recently debuted nutrition powders and shakes. I haven’t tried any of their other products, but after my experience with their yogurt, I’m not really rushing to the store.

According to Crunchbase, so far Ripple has raised $108.6 million in funding. That’s some serious dairy-free dough. But while their product seems like it would hit the sweet spot, it left me with a (literal) bitter taste in my mouth. If they can’t get me — a millennial consumer who avoids dairy, is open to plant-based alternatives and enjoys trying new products — to buy their yogurt, who will?

Perhaps I’ll have better luck with coconut yogurt, which my colleague Jenn Marston tried and liked — though I’ll have to find my protein somewhere else. And maybe when lab-made dairy products, like the ones that Perfect Day is developing the technology for, come to market, they’ll be able to eliminate that pesky lactose and still make tangy yogurt and gooey mozzarella and all the things I hold so dear. Until then, it looks like I’m having toast for breakfast.

Update: Ripple Foods’ PR team reached out to me with this to say:

We saw your recent review on The Spoon and wanted to apologize for your not so delicious experience as well as share that the brand is definitely listening and will be working to revamp the yogurt line over the next few months. They want to provide consumers with a quality product and feel the current one needs some tweaks.

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  1. Sorry but I loved it..add some stevia and blueberries to the plain and it’s great..although, my local grocery store doesn’t carry it anymore and I’m finding it very difficult to get it elsewhere. Actually I can’t find it anywhere and I finally found a product that I could eat which has a substantial amount of protein. I’m allergic to nuts, dairy and a litany of other things and found this product to be perfect for my needs. Please ripple help me find it…

  2. I just had the vanilla one and the aftertaste was…shocking. I think the texture and taste are great but then there’s a super weird aftertaste and severe dry-mouth feeling, like you said. I never thought a food would do this to my tongue

  3. I had the plain but used Ezekiel whole grain cereal with fruit I really liked it. Need the protein and fiber so it works for me. Just hard to find natural flavor.

  4. I just tried this product for the first time this week, both the strawberry and vanilla flavors. I like to stir a big spoonful of peanut butter in with my Greek yogurt, so that’s what I did with these and I thought it tasted awesome. The vanilla in particular was delicious this way. Since I didn’t try either flavor by itself, I can’t speak to the taste sans-pb, but with it I’ve found my new favorite protein/fat bomb dessert.

  5. I tried the vanilla and it was SO bad I came here looking for support. How can a product that tastes like this make it to market? If you like yogurt that tastes like fermented burlap, buy Ripple! I see most of the “likers” here ate theirs with granola or peanut butter to disguise the taste.

  6. I was just diagnosed with EoE and I’m having to remove so many items that I usually eat I was hoping to switch to a non dairy yogurt like Ripple. I just tried the strawberry and could barely take more than two bites without feeling sick behind it. I hope they change their product.

  7. I actually quite like it. I allergic to nuts, soy, coconut and am lactose-intolerant so this was godsend. This and Food Karma’s flaxmilk yogurts. The yogurt is quite thick so I like to spread it on Ezekiel bread for breakfast. The plain is my favorite as the taste and texture reminds me of Philadelphia cream cheese. It’s getting harder and harder to locate these yogurts. The Whole Foods in my area no longer carries them but luckily Kroger still is.

  8. I love the plain. At first I thought it tasted like wet cardboard (gross, I know) but I kept eating them every morning and now I like it! I chose Ripple versus the other brands because of the low sugar content in the plain.

  9. Totally disagree with your review. As someone who has recently been forced to seek out dairy alternatives, Ripple is the only yogurt I’ve found that is palatable. The blueberry and strawberry flavors are absolutely delicious! I’m actually quite disappointed that the company wrote to you saying they’re going to rework their fomula.

  10. I LOVED this yogurt, and I am not vegan, nor dairy intolerant. There was nothing else out there that tasted like this, and when Kroger put it on closeout I was finding that I was buying them all up. So sad to see it go! The aftertaste wasn’t sour like regular yogurt. It was bitter, like coffee or chocolate, meaning that the flavors tasted like dark chocolate covered fruit. So amazing and rich. Regular sour dairy chocolate yogurt is disgusting. The problem was marketing expectations. This is not “yogurt”. Rebrand.

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