HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice

Anyone know why soy yogurt is disappearing?

sciencediet Jun 8, 2013 09:01 AM

So I ordered a case of Whole Soy yogurt from my food coop, and it turned out to be out of stock. Not too unusual, only a little annoying. Then I went to Trader Joe's--also gone. They told me out of stock for at least a week. So sent my husband to Whole Foods, and guess what? No soy yogurt at all. What the heck is up? Someone on a vegan forum said it had something to do with not being able to use the word "yogurt," but actually I think the TJs version just said "cultured non-dairy" something or other. Is soy yogurt gone forever? I don't eat dairy and I kind of can't stand that coconut stuff.

  1. q
    quolivere Jun 13, 2013 11:47 AM

    It's been disappearing here (Bay Area) for a while. I've asked at Trader Joe's, and they don't know the reason. The brands slowly started disappearing from Whole Foods a few months ago, and the dairy guy said the almond milk yogurts are gone, as well.

    I can't stand the coconut stuff, either.

    Whole Soy (I don't like their yogurt--the plain is too bitter, and they use cane sugar in the rest of their products, while Nancy's uses agave, and Wildwood's plain tastes just fine) moved to a new facility and had trouble ramping up production, among other things (http://www.wholesoyco.com/blog).

    I miss my soygurt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: quolivere
      chowser Jun 21, 2013 08:30 AM

      I think itt has to do w/ food trends. Soy used to be considered a power food and people were wary of dairy. Now, gluten free is the trend and everything is gluten free. I'm not saying people are all doing it as a trend but enough are to drive the market.

    2. j
      jujuthomas Jun 13, 2013 12:23 PM

      I buy Stoneyfield brand and Whole Foods and they're only carrying 2 flavors now instead of 4. I noticed that the Whole Soy area was half empty last time, but didn't really think more about it. I'll have to keep my eye on it!

      1. KaimukiMan Jun 14, 2013 08:34 AM

        If most of it is as awful as the one I tried then its pretty obvious why its disappearing.

        6 Replies
        1. re: KaimukiMan
          quolivere Jun 14, 2013 08:41 AM

          Not all of us have the option of eating dairy-based yogurt. I'm allergic to dairy--not lactose-intolerant, but mouth-swells-up allergic. If dairy-eaters can choose from a huge wall of yogurt varieties--including the bizarre amplification of the Greek yogurt category--isn't there room for a few soy varieties?

          1. re: quolivere
            KaimukiMan Jun 20, 2013 03:46 AM

            the reason i first tried soy yogurt in the first place is because I have a mild dairy allergy myself. I was actually weaned on soy-milk, back in the dark ages (1950's) when soy milk was not easy to find. If I eat more than a minor amount of dairy over an extended period I beak-out (wish someone had figured that out when i was in high school.) But the stuff I tried - no doubt some off brand - was really horrible.

            1. re: quolivere
              mcf Jun 21, 2013 08:31 AM

              It sounds as if the product is disappearing and may get harder to find, so maybe, if it's as easy as making regular yogurt, that's the best option?

              Googled this up, using soy yogurt, not dairy starters: http://sweethealthyliving.com/2012/08...

              1. re: mcf
                quolivere Jun 21, 2013 09:19 AM

                I've tried making soy yogurt in the past, and the results have been less than salubrious...I don't remember what brand I used, but it was quite some time ago, so there weren't as many choices. I've been considering trying it again.

                1. re: quolivere
                  mcf Jun 21, 2013 10:12 AM

                  The article makes some recommendations that might help to produce better results, if it comes to that.

            2. re: KaimukiMan
              sciencediet Jun 14, 2013 10:05 AM

              After almost 20 years, I don't even remember what dairy yogurt tastes like. Clearly, tastes differ--I find Stonyfield almost intolerably gluey, but Whole Soy is thick and creamy. (And since both Trader Joe's and Whole Soy are out of stock, I think we now know who makes Trader Joe's.)

              I did eventually find that Whole Soy site too--good to know it's a resolvable issue.

            3. j
              jujuthomas Jun 21, 2013 08:17 AM

              I'm very disappointed. I just was looking at the O'Soy site, to calculate my weight watchers points for a container of their yogurt. The live cultures in their yogurt are milk based. The whole point of soy yogurt, to me, is that it not contain milk products.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jujuthomas
                quolivere Jun 21, 2013 09:19 AM

                I noticed that, as well, and I totally agree.

              2. j
                jujuthomas Jun 21, 2013 10:44 AM

                I'm just checking out the Whole Soy site - in light of my disappointment with O'Soy - their latest blog post from yesterday says that their co-packer closed doors with only 3 days notice. looks like they are working through it...


                1. Candy Jun 21, 2013 12:17 PM

                  I think the Soy Fad has run its course. Gluten Free is pushing it off the shelves.

                  I do get amused to see so many products labeled "Gluten Free" that never had any to begin with. It was like the "Cholesterol Free" thing 20+ years ago.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Candy
                    GF_Al Sep 15, 2013 11:55 PM

                    Soy is not a fad for those with dairy allergies, the lactose intolerant, vegan (the recipes without casein), and those needing to cut down their saturated fat content less expensively. Nor is Gluten Free a fad for celiacs. But what does one have to do with the other?

                    You'd be surprised to find out what isn't be gluten free -- that you think should be -- thanks to farming practices, shared processing equipment, and shared facility contamination!

                    "Cholesterol Free" wasn't so much a fad as a sales gimmick that was found out by the public to have little to no effect on HDL and LDL numbers. They were adding a lot of sugar and other junk to products to mask the inferior taste, when they should have just been lowering the sugar, fat, salt and chemical content.

                    As long as products are related to health conditions which have no instant cure, you'll see these categories for a lot longer than 20 years in the stores.

                    1. re: GF_Al
                      tastesgoodwhatisit Sep 16, 2013 02:00 AM

                      It's a matter of economics.

                      Generally, the portion of a population that has dietary issues with a particular ingredient is fairly small. Substitute versions of produces (veggie burgers, gluten free cakes, soy yoghurt) are often inferior in taste to the original (or are percieved to be by those who don't have to eat it) and are often more expensive to produce. So things like soy yoghurt or gluten free flour tend to be niche markets.

                      If a particular dietary restriction is trendy and a lot of people are adopting it, like gluten free at the moment, or carb free a decade ago, then it becomes economically advantageous to produce and market products to accommodate it. So you see a lot of gluten free products in the market, and gluten free menus at restaurants.

                      Once that particular diet falls out of trendiness, though, the market plummets back down to people who genuinely can't eat the original version, and the production and availability plummet in turn.

                      For example, ovo-lacto vegetarianism has established itself widely enough to be well catered to - veganism (a much more extreme diet) not so much. In areas with a large Jewish or Muslim population, kosher or halal products tend to be easy to find, otherwise not so much.

                      I predict that in a decade, gluten free will have fallen out of popularity. Gluten free products will still be available, probably at a slightly higher rate than a decade ago, but will not be nearly so prevalent as they are now, particularly for perishable goods, where a high demand is particularly important.

                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                        GF_Al Sep 16, 2013 07:11 AM

                        Interesting theory. I have a theory of my own for this decade.

                        Instead of returning to simple recipes, companies will continue to use heartier strains of frankenwheat, carrageenan thickeners, antibiotics, chemical pesticides, saturated oils, non-organics, GMOs, and other non-pronouncibles in the name of better cravability (addictive flavor), texture, shelf life and profits for the masses who will continue to gobble them up in the form cheap pizzas, fries, "cheese (aka modified cheese food product slices) burgers," overprocessed breads, snack food, cronuts, and more. These and other environmental causes will contribute to creating more weaker immune systems and dietary tract issues that will lead to more allergies and immunity disorders like celiac disease. Many are out there now that are undiagnosed celiacs. But by then more people will be aware of it and more will be diagnosed. Not just by 2- or 3x either. These type things tend to escalate on a curve. Then there is the gluten-sensitive population, as well. They're the ones that perform more alertly and with more energy on the gluten-free diet, but aren't currently threatened by gluten. There are also the athletes that are gluten-free for better performance.

                        Think about how no one heard of celiac disease two generations ago, Neither did anyone have the current kind of marketed American food available then. Nor the environmental issues or over prescribing of medications.There are a lot of things that could be causing it. We can control the ones that are put in the mouth. But we have little personal control over the others.

                        Celiac and other gluten/immunity related allergies aren't going away. They're getting stronger and the consumers weaker, thanks to the processing-for-maximum-profit world we live in. If that can be cleaned up, your theory might have a chance.

                        As to the economics... why bother at all, over a current one percent celiac market? Why do Pepsi and Coke fight over the 1-3% zero-carb (or other small) market? Why are so many restaurants adding gluten-free menus? Why are sports arenas beginning to add gluten-free items and beers?

                        With Pepsi and Coke it's about surrendering any sales to the competition and in volume profits add up. Restauranteurs are realizing that the person with the dietary issue in a group generally dictates where the whole group will -- or won't -- go... whether it's just a couple, a family, a table of friends or an office party outing. Any group could be the difference in breaking even on any given night. A good special diet dining experience also creates loyalty. The restaurants purchase some of these specialty items, too.

                        Go to a sporting event of, say, 40,000. With an average of one percent (closer to one and a third now) of full celiacs ONLY, not buying any gf products -- that's 400+ people that are eating and drinking little to nothing of what they're selling in concessions -- for every game of the season.

                        Finally, I admit that a lot of the early gluten-free products were pretty bad. But many categories have improved greatly. Breads are better, Frozen entrees are better. Desserts are better. I've had some gf beers lately that my beer-drinking aficionado friends couldn't tell they were gluten free and actually like. Costs are higher, because volumes are lower and ingredient quality is usually better.

                        If the companies can keep their recipes universal, they can make foods and beverages that appeal to all. For example, flourless chocolate cake is basically four ingredients: chocolate, eggs, sugar and butter. You can add a couple other ingredients like vanilla or coffee to make it unique, but it's simple and everyone would enjoy it. Why complicate it with gluten. No need to mess with a regular and a gf version with different pricing. There's your economics for you.

                        BTW, the only diet you mentioned that is a trend is the low carb, because it's for weight loss. Kosher and halal have been around a couple thousand years, so fairly stable numbers. And vegetarianism has been around even longer.

                        Though it seemed to just catch on recently because of it's increase in interest and numbers (for health, energy and political reasons), true 'veganism' (under that name) has been around about 50 years or so, but had been practiced long ago. The latter two and shades between, for most Americans, I consider lifestyle choices. Some may test it out for a while and drop it, but if they like it, will stick with it for years or indefinitel

                        1. re: GF_Al
                          mcf Sep 16, 2013 07:22 AM

                          "BTW, the only diet you mentioned that is a trend is the low carb, because it's for weight loss."

                          Not so. It's gained momentum because low fat, high carb induces metabolic syndrome and diabetes and low carb controls, prevents and reverses damage from them even without weight loss or meds. It's the only diet proven to do so.

                          Humans can survive on nothing but protein and fat in robust good health and die without them. There are no essential carbs in human biology. Some are healthful, but none are required and more folks are dying of their use.

                          I've known a few celiac folks for decades.

                          1. re: mcf
                            GF_Al Sep 16, 2013 07:53 AM

                            "If a particular dietary restriction is trendy and a lot of people are adopting it, like ... carb free a decade ago,...."

                            "Not so. It's gained momentum because low fat, high carb induces metabolic syndrome and diabetes and low carb controls, prevents and reversed damage from them even without weight loss or meds."

                            So is the carb diet a decade-old trend or _not_ a trend that will always be necessary for the health and well-being for a segment of the population?

                            If not, then you have not mentioned any comparable trends to support your theory. My original point was to Candy that compared the Gluten-Free diet to Soy and Cholesterol-Free as all trendy fads. Reread my original post.

                            1. re: GF_Al
                              mcf Sep 16, 2013 08:19 AM

                              Increasing protein and carbs, especially grains and sugars, is producing preventive results that cannot be ignored, though grain, sugar and drug lobbies are throwing everything against it, including buying off the diabetes and heart assns. Yes it will stick as long as we can learn to ignore cholesterol lowering instead of healthy ratios and glucose control as an outcome, stop restricting natural, healthy fats.

                              The changes that led to the disastrous grain based food pyramids were wrought not by scientists, but by misguided politics. http://www.healthy-eating-politics.co...

                              Real world clinical results matter here, every bit as much as with gluten/celiac. And they tell the same kind of tale; cut the carbs, cut the epidemic that turned adult onset diabetes into a pediatric disease.

                  2. KaimukiMan Jun 21, 2013 12:43 PM

                    soy in general is "under attack" because of GMO issues.

                    1. j
                      JulesNoctambule Jun 24, 2013 10:39 AM

                      According to their website, far from being a disappearing food trend or dissolving under attack from the anti-GMO crowd, Whole Soy is simply in the process of moving to a new production facility and product should be back shortly. Since they're pretty much the major manufacturer, supply has been disrupted everywhere.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: JulesNoctambule
                        quolivere Jun 24, 2013 11:28 AM

                        But this doesn't explain why I can't find Wildwood, Nancy's, or other brands anywhere.

                        1. re: quolivere
                          JulesNoctambule Jun 29, 2013 10:58 AM

                          It's my understanding that they do production for several companies.

                          1. re: JulesNoctambule
                            quolivere Jul 1, 2013 01:32 PM

                            Wildwood and Nancy's both used different formulas. This weekend I went to the Whole Foods closest to my house and they had Nancy's plain soy and flavored. Unfortunately, the plain is now in a smaller container for the same price (24 instead of 32 oz). The little ones were on sale for $1/ea, though. I told them how overjoyed I was to find soygurt back in stock.

                        2. re: JulesNoctambule
                          jamcars Jul 18, 2013 07:04 AM

                          Thanks for the facts and not just opinion.

                        3. j
                          jamcars Jul 18, 2013 06:56 AM

                          The Whole soy yogurt is building their new plant. They should have it up in running sometime in the fall. http://www.wholesoyco.com/blog/item/o...

                          Trader Joes, I Have no idea.

                          1. e
                            EdwinNJ Jul 18, 2013 07:07 AM

                            low demand, maybe

                            it sucks when you like something and yet no one wants to buy it and it disappears

                            1. g
                              galeforcewind Jul 26, 2013 09:36 AM

                              I thought I was going crazy! I don't mind the coconut version, but it doesn't have enough protein per serving for my nutrition goals. I miss it too! Glad to know it might be around again in the fall ...

                              I have also noticed a lack of all brands in all stores I've visited, not just TJ's & WholeSoy. Even my local Whole Foods has nothing. Where else are you guys finding Nancy's and Wildwood (while I wait for WholeSoy to finish moving)?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: galeforcewind
                                quolivere Jul 26, 2013 09:47 AM

                                In the Bay Area, Whole Foods and New Leaf markets (local chain)--but that's it. Maybe if you ask your WF they'll bring it in? I do miss Wildwood--don't know what happened there.

                              2. j
                                jamcars Sep 16, 2013 05:45 PM

                                Whole Soy is under construction. They should be up in running in october or november. Check out their website.

                                1. s
                                  susil Sep 23, 2013 05:29 PM

                                  I am so glad to find this string. I'm allergic to cow's milk, don't love coconut milk yogurt and have been wondering why all the soy yogurt has been disappearing from all the shelves all summer. (Regular grocery stores around me used to have it, as well as Trader Joe's--not now!) I will now have to check into this O'Soy milk-based culture situation, too, but maybe it doesn't matter if it's not even available!

                                  1. C. Hamster Sep 23, 2013 06:26 PM

                                    I can still buy it in my local supermarket but only in flavored varieties when I only need plain to mimic sour cream! GRRRR

                                    My theory about dwindling soy yogurt might be because of all the conflicting health warnings to women ( major yogurt consumers) about soybean products.

                                    Women(major yogurt consumers) have a complicated relationship with soy.

                                    1. b
                                      bucnikf90 Oct 9, 2013 01:07 PM

                                      Just buy Soya milk. Warm it to room temperature..it would be better to heat up soya milk to high temperature and allow it cool.. once the milk comes to room temperature add yogurt (dairy)....leave for 10 hrs..you will have your soya yogurt... Dont eat all the yogurt..leave it some in the refrigerator. When you want next time..add this soya yogurt so that it is vegan friendly...you can buy cultured bacteria also, instead of dairy yoghurt for first time, but then its a big search in the shops for those. You try with yeast..might work..if it fails first time with yeast just take the precipitate and put it the soya milk, next time it might work.

                                      1. s
                                        sciencediet Nov 21, 2013 05:41 PM

                                        I just got a case of Silk! Heaven! Still no WholeSoy, but this will tide me over for a bit.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sciencediet
                                          jamcars Nov 21, 2013 06:03 PM

                                          Sciencediet, I tried it also, it was not bad. The fruit flavored ones taste like jelly. The vanilla one was pretty good. I think it cost $1.29 at my local grocery for a tiny cup. Wholesoy was $3.99 at the wholefoods for a large tub. Can't wait till they come back.

                                        2. n
                                          nloomis Jan 15, 2014 09:18 AM

                                          I agree that soy yogurt is hard to find and the last time I checked, the natural foods store we frequent didn't even have much. Not sure what's going on. My local Safeway carries Silk and O'Soy by Stoneyfield. I thought perhaps Stoneyfield was better and tried it a number of times, but the texture was just awful....OK taste, but watery and grainy. I'm now happily eating Silk brand and loving it. It's creamy and is thick enough with a great taste. Usually only available in strawberry and blueberry.

                                          1. c
                                            camanok Jan 26, 2014 09:19 PM

                                            Help.. does anyone know a nondairy yogurt that is unsweetened. I used to get a soy one and cant find it or any unsweetened yogurt. I checked PCC and whole foods. All full of sugar.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: camanok
                                              Ttrockwood Jan 27, 2014 06:20 PM

                                              I've tried a lot of non dairy yogurts and have never seen one that was low sugar, or even just plain unflavored.
                                              This recipe is a a way to make your own and therefore control the sugar:

                                              1. re: camanok
                                                sciencediet Jan 29, 2014 09:03 AM

                                                WholeSoy's website does advertise an unsweetened plain version, if they ever start shipping it again!

                                                1. re: sciencediet
                                                  jujuthomas Jan 29, 2014 09:43 AM

                                                  seriously. I looked at whole foods 2 weeks ago and nothin!

                                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                                    camanok Jan 29, 2014 10:32 PM


                                                    1. re: camanok
                                                      GF_Al Jan 30, 2014 05:28 AM

                                                      Beware of yogurts and other products with carrageenan (a non-nutritive filler ingredient). Already banned in Europe, it's used for texture and cosmetic purposes, but has been linked to several health issues from IBS to cancer. But even if it were completely safe, would you want to pay for all yogurt or some yogurt and a lot of cheap empty filler? It can also be listed under several other names. Some SoDelicious products use it, but I have not seen it in Whole Soy or O'Soy products.

                                              2. e
                                                edvfood Feb 5, 2014 12:02 PM

                                                I'm late to this thread, but I covered this here:


                                                Whole Soy (also Amande), and Trader Joe's Organic (which appears to be repackaged Whole Soy): supply chain issues.

                                                This just happened to take place shortly after a lot of consolidation and switching from soy to other bases for non-dairy yogurt.

                                                Silk is ok, and I've just recently seen Nancy's Cultured Soy (which has a plain, unlike Silk) at Whole Foods.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: edvfood
                                                  sciencediet Feb 6, 2014 06:38 AM

                                                  Yeah, I just stopped in to Whole Foods and got a few of the Nancy's. They taste weird. I hope Whole Soy gets going soon.

                                                Show Hidden Posts