There are plenty of plant-based yogurts on the market at this point, and a lot of them are really good. However, for those who are health or environmentally conscious, many of these yogurts pose a problem — sugar content and plastic. Some yogurts can contain up to 20 grams of sugar, and plastic is the most common packing for yogurt. UNNICO is entering the crowded plant-based yogurt to provide a sugar-free plant-based yogurt packaged in ceramics.
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 that the company will be launching six initial products in the market sometime in March or April. UNNICO’s oat-based yogurt will come in four flavors, plain, bourbon vanilla, strawberry, and mixed berry. The coconut cream yogurt will come in three flavors, strawberry cheesecake, caramel salt, and cookies and cream. None of the yogurts will contain added sugars but will use an alternative sweetener called allulose that doesn’t raise blood sugar at all.
The initial plant-based cheese product will be an almond and pea protein-based cream cheese that contains 3 grams of protein, with more flavors to come in the future. The company will also have one dessert, a dark chocolate ganache made from coconut milk with only 6 grams of sugar.
What really differentiates UNNICO’s products from other plant-based dairy products is the terra cotta packaging. All of the previously mentioned products will come in terra cotta packaging. When UNNICO’s D2C platform and subscription service is up and running, consumers can order these products and then ship back the terra cotta packaging to receive a discount on future orders. The used terra cotta will then be recycled to make materials like bricks. This idea is reminiscent of Heineken’s old rectangle-shaped bottles; the bottles were designed so once empty, they could be used to build homes in impoverished areas.
There are several plant-based yogurt companies that use an alternative to plastic, like Coconut Cult and Culina for example. Both of these coconut-based yogurts come in glass packaging, which is nice because the glass jars can be re-used. Although glass is considered more sustainable than plastic, it still takes a decent amount of energy to produce glass and also transport it.
When UNNICO’s products launch in early spring, they will first be available in grocers, delis, and stores in the New York metro area. The yogurts and ganache will retail for $3.69-$3.89, with the cream cheese costing $6.99.