The yellow pea moguls at Ripple Foods say yes
When you hear the word yogurt, yellow peas are probably one of the last ingredients that come to mind. Well, Adam Lowry and Neil Renninger, founders of Ripple Foods, want to change that. Lowry, Renninger, and the Ripple team have formed a brand under the belief that yellow peas are the non-dairy alternative of the future. Ripple first made waves in the non-dairy market with their milk products, but they’re not stopping there. Ripple also has a line of yogurts that are made with the same yellow pea protein.
I’ll admit it: I’m no stranger to non-dairy milks. I put soy milk creamer in my coffee and almond milk in smoothies on a regular basis, and my obsession with bonkers-expensive coconut milk yogurt is slowly getting out of hand. However, Ripple was my first experience with pea protein as a base for a non-dairy product.
Unlike many non-dairy milks, which are the result of soaked and blended nuts or seeds and water, the Ripple products are made with a flavorless yellow pea-based plant protein they call Ripptein.
“We ultimately landed on yellow peas thanks to their sustainability,” Lowry told me in an email, explaining that improved sustainability in the industry is central to Ripple’s ethos. “This means Ripple uses a full 98.5% less water than dairy milk and 96% less water than almond milk during manufacturing. Our goal is to make it easy for everyone to make small, everyday changes in their lives that let them to live a healthier, more sustainable life.”
After seeing a great deal of success with their non-dairy milks, Ripple set out to create a Greek yogurt alternative made with Ripptein. Citing that many non-dairy yogurts lack comparable nutritional properties to dairy-based Greek yogurt, Lowry’s goal was to create a Ripple yogurt with 12 grams of protein, live active cultures, and a thick texture. It’s sold at many local grocery stores, as well as larger chains like Kroger’s, Target, and Whole Foods.
Indeed, Ripple’s yogurt is packed with protein at 12 grams per 5.3-ounce cointainer. Comparatively, Kite Hill Greek-Style almond milk yogurt contains 10 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce cup; CoYo coconut yogurt contains just 3 grams of protein; and So Delicious coconut yogurt has “<1” gram per serving. Of course, the same amount of Fage Greek yogurt (a dairy-based brand) can have at least 18 grams of protein, but it's clear that most non-dairy competetors don't hold a candle to Ripple in the protein department.
After a tasting in the Extra Crispy offices, we found Ripple yogurt to be tangier and a bit runnier than most dairy-based Greek yogurts. While the Original flavor didn’t really excite the team, we did find the maple and strawberry flavors pretty enjoyable. Ultimately, the official response from team Extra Crispy is that we’re still looking for the non-dairy alternative that will successfully tear us away from our preferred brands of classic Greek yogurt, but we’d happily blend Ripple yogurt into a smoothie for an extra boost of protein.
Currently, the Ripple team is working to develop new flavors of Ripple yogurt, like key lime pie. Lowry isn’t planning to stop at refrigerated products either. “We’ve had a lot of customer requests for Ripple ice cream,” he told me. “Stay tuned!”