Nutpods offer non-dairy alternative to half-and-half

By Hal Conick contact

- Last updated on GMT

Are Nutpods the next big thing in the dairy alternative market?
Are Nutpods the next big thing in the dairy alternative market?

Related tags: Milk

Approximately 40m US residents are lactose intolerant, but until recently, there was no non-dairy alternative to half-and-half on the market. Green Grass Foods, Inc. founder and CEO Madeline Haydon wanted to change that.

“I was looking at [nationwide problems with] diabetes, obesity and was just thinking that we have progressed as a society in the better-for-you trend in so many areas of food, but in this area there hasn’t been innovation,” ​Haydon told DairyReporter. 

“We’re able to get out there and being an alternative to half-and-half. I basically created what I wanted to buy.”

The non-dairy creamer comes in Original, French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors and in addition to being non-dairy is free of soy, GMOs and carrageenan. It is also certified as gluten-free, OU Kosher and vegan. Haydon said it can be used in coffee, but can also stand up to the test of baking and cooking.

Nutpods launched in natural grocery chains, but has quickly expanded beyond that to standard groceries such as Kroger. Haydon said the company has distribution across 240 stores on the west coast with more coming soon, but consumers that lean toward health food are still the company’s stated target. The beverage is carried in tetrapaks, as Haydon said the aseptic process helps keep the beverage shelf stable. 

Meeting the needs of the health conscious consumer

Haydon said she sought out third-party certifications to help build the value of the brand and attract consumers who cared about what went into products they consumed. While it is not yet certified as organic, she said this may be an eventual step once the company establishes its base in the market.

First, she wants to make sure people know they’re paying for a quality product. The product they make is anywhere from $3.79 to $3.99 for 11oz, while other similar products are $2.59 for 16oz. This may not necessarily be the creamer for someone who wants a cheap creamer that may or may not have dairy, but for she said those who tend to look at ingredients and labels it will “fit right in.”

“I didn’t want it to be a luxury brand, I wanted it for consumers that want a better for you product,” ​Haydon said.

“I want to be able to have a healthy product in as many people’s hands as possible. We prioritize our competitive benefits without make it cost prohibitive.”

Nutpods are likely being consumed by more than just the lactose intolerant consumer. According to research form the company, 30% of its consumers were using half-and-half before purchasing this product.

“That told me they don’t necessary belong in a box with paleo or vegan,”​ Haydon said. “We have a lot of people who are gluten-free. They also feel better not having diary in their diet. They’re a prime demographic for us.”

The future

There may be a lot of room for Nutpods and similar products to grow into the future, as MarketsandMarkets reported that the dairy alternative market will be worth $19.5bn across the world by 2020.

Haydon said she has a lot of hope for the future, as alternative dairy products were barely found in mainstream stores five years ago. Now, you can find almond and coconut milk almost everywhere.

“I think that a lot of people are looking for better options,”​ Haydon said.

As for the future of Green Grass Foods and Nutpods, she said the company is “turning away a lot of business​” to focus on the west coast. However, she said the company will likely expand into east coast stores by the end of 2016. 

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