Our next stop was at the booth of Santa Monica-based Tarte Asian Yogurt, which like many recent entrants to the dairy case, highlights its low sugar, high protein credentials – and the fact that it isn’t Greek, or strained, so creates no ‘acid’ whey.
But what is ‘Asian yogurt’? And will Americans like it?
Tarte was inspired by a French-Vietnamese style of yogurt sold by street vendors and coffee shops in Southeast Asia that is made by caramelizing milk and sugar before culturing, said co-founder & CEO Winston Lee, who said his product has more calcium than Greek yogurt.
“It’s got a light, subtly sweet taste and a smooth and creamy texture, but the value proposition of Greek (high protein, low sugar). The name Tarte is in part because it’s a little less sweet.
“The Greek yogurt market grew really rapidly but it has matured now, and people that aren’t buying Greek now are never going to buy it, so retailers want to know what’s next.”
The product - which has just launched in Target - is also available in Whole Foods, Ralph's, Costco, H.E.B., Albertson's, Jewel Osco, and other leading food retailers.