WINSTON LEE, founder, Tarte Foods: Greek has 47% of the market; we’re going after the other 53%
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
When Winston Lee - pictured left - started pitching Tarte Asian Yogurt to retailers three years ago, the market had already hit peak Greek, he says: “Buyers were already looking at what's next after Greek. If you weren't already a brand on the shelf, you had missed the boat if you were trying to introduce a Greek yogurt line.”
Tarte – which was developed from a Vietnamese recipe from Lee’s mother – has as much protein as Greek yogurt (it’s not strained but he adds whey and milk protein concentrate), the tart flavor of frozen yogurt, a light, creamy texture, and low sugar (he combines sugar and stevia).
Unusually, the sugar is added to the milk before it is cultured, says Lee, a former real estate executive who set up Tarte Foods LLC in Santa Monica with his brother Henry in 2010, secured shelf space at his first major accounts in early 2013, and is now in around 700 stores primarily in southern California, from Target, Costco and Kroger (Ralph's) to Sprouts, Whole Foods, HEB & Jewel Osco.