The market for at-home fermentation has the potential to catch on rapidly because it offers further customization over store-bought dairy products, according to founder and CEO Julie Feickert.
Feickert has grown her business into a 700-product e-commerce business run out of an office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Feickert wants her company be the reliable first step someone takes on their “healthy living journey” by serving as both a retailer and information resource.
According to Feickert, transparency of food ingredients and control over what goes into food products go hand-in-hand, and she believes her company has the unique advantage of helping consumers achieve both.
“The market has shifted towards a strong interest in both probiotic-rich foods and customization,” Feickert told DairyReporter. “Making your own allows you to achieve both goals.”
Customization pays off in multiple ways
Taste can be controlled with Culture for Health at-home products, according to Feickert.
“Making your own allows you to control factors like fermentation time and flavoring so you can make delicious food that match your family’s taste preferences,” she said.
She added that people with specific dietary needs or preferences can also control what goes into each at-home recipe.
And Feickert says consumers can save money making yogurt, kefir or cheese in their kitchen instead of buying from the dairy aisle.
The company’s traditional yogurt starter culture costs $8.99 and contains four packets of starter cultures, which each yield two quarts of yogurt per batch.
‘You can do this’ encouragement
Armed with the mantra “you can do this” all over its website, Cultures for Health wants to demystify the process of making your own yogurt or cheese by providing a user-friendly website to serve as an online resource about at-home fermentation. Each product features a how-to video as well as FAQ section.
“Too many people believe that it’s hard and time consuming. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Feickert said. “Yogurt takes around 15 minutes.”
Instilling that sense of confidence is crucial to Cultures for Health’s business model, and Feickert believes making culture-rich foods and beverages at home is a trend that will see significant growth.
“Creating unique blends and flavor profiles is trending upward and has the potential to become huge,” she said. “Just like we see BBQ enthusiasts showing off their art, there is great potential to see competitions and festivals for people to compare their cultured creations.”