Plum Yogurt

Rachel’s probiotic yogurt is a healthy choice for breakfast, lunch or snacks. It’s so elegant, you can serve it as a casual dessert. Shown above: Plum Honey Lavender. Photo by Susan Fox | IST.





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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.


March 2008
Updated March 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cheese-Butter-Yogurt

Rachel’s Wickedly Delicious Yogurt

Probiotic, Omega 3-Enriched & Fashionably Flavored



CAPSULE REPORT: Rachel’s yogurt has probiotic bacteria for digestion, vegetarian Omega-3s for cardiovascular and other benefits, calcium for good bones and teeth and a prebiotic that has been shown to help increase calcium absorption. The milk is rBGH-free. Add to that 12 lowfat, spa-chic flavors, and you know why this yogurt has been the craze in England. Now made in Wisconsin (current U.S. law prohibits the import of fresh dairy products), Rachel’s yogurt offers some great tastes as well as good nutrition. The 100% natural line is certified kosher. This is Page 1 of a four-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

Someone in this company knows how to make delicious, healthy yogurt. On the other hand, someone knows nothing about marketing messages. This brand has too many of them—some conflicting and confusing—that don’t necessarily support a brand that promises a nutritious yogurt, targeted to women who know enough to care about their calcium, probiotics and Omega 3s. The more yogurt we ate (more than 24 cartons of it), the more time we had to read the cartons. What, we asked, is this company trying to say to us? The more we read, the less sense it made. So if you don’t want to read our little rant on the topic, click right down to the health benefits of Rachel’s yogurt.

Using the slang word “wicked” to describe something good, is questionable when applied to a wholesome organic yogurt with “inspirational essences” and packaging that features pretty flowers (along with a website that describes the homeopathy of each variety). Is it wicked or is it New Age? Following “Wickedly Delicious” with claims of “Blissfully blended mood-inspiring yogurt” and “The essence of scrumptious satisfaction” is a disconnect in our book (well, assuming those two sentences make a whole lot of sense in the first place). One feels as if the resident sloganeers would place a dozen more messages of varying relevance on the carton, if only there were room. This is all the American producer’s doing, by the way; these communication bungles do not appear on the U.K. product.

But, as noted, the company does make a delicious product. We first learned about Rachel’s more than a year ago, when researching a story on probiotic food. Everyone in the U.K., it seems, was ravenous for Rachel’s probiotic yogurt, a brand that was founded in 1984 by Rachel Rowland and her husband, Gareth. We learned that it would soon be coming to the U.S., albeit amid some controversy.

Rachel’s Yogurt
Wicked and blissful? The words aren’t in sync,
but the adaptation of the chic and happy U.K. packaging was spot on. All Rachel’s photos
by Claire Freierman

In the U.K., Rachel’s is among the most beloved of organic brands. In the U.S., the name is produced by WhiteWave, a division of the dairy giant Dean Foods,* owner of the Horizon organic brand (the largest organic dairy brand), which has faced criticism for skirting the rules of the USDA’s National Organics Program. Some fans expressed their dissatisfaction on message boards, that the brand would not be organic in the U.S. (it is “100% natural,” a term that has no official standing, but the yogurt is free of preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings). Others expressed that, even if it was made as an organic yogurt, WhiteWave milk isn’t honestly “organic” because of their treatment of the cows (as has been reported, many are kept exclusively in barns, and not allowed to graze in pastures, per the requirements of the National Organics Program).

*Dean Foods is the largest processor and distributor of fresh milk and other dairy products in the U.S., with products sold under more than 50 local and regional brands, as well as private labels. Its WhiteWave Foods subsidiary is the largest U.S. organic foods company, with brands such as Horizon Organic and Silk soymilk, as well as Land O’Lakes, International Delight coffee creamers.

Why isn’t American Rachel’s yogurt organic? According to the company, many of the ingredients used in the Exotics line are difficult to source organically (i.e., perhaps there’s no organic kiwi around). In fact, the flavors in the U.S. are different than those in the U.K., although WhiteWave certainly could have produced an organic line if it wished to, in keeping with the brand’s heritage (see the differences). But, it’s a business decision, and the only people who will miss out are those who will consume only organic dairy products.

Continue To Page 2: Health Benefits Of Rachel’s Yogurt

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