Trader Joe’s is a popular grocery store chain known for its unique, affordable products. In recent years, Trader Joe’s has expanded its selections to include more organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and plant-based options to meet growing consumer demand. This includes dairy-free yogurt alternatives made from soy, almond, coconut, or oat milk. But does Trader Joe’s have reliable, tasty dairy-free yogurt options for those avoiding milk products? Let’s take a closer look.
The Growing Demand for Dairy-Free Yogurt
Dairy-free yogurts and yogurt alternatives have exploded in popularity in recent years. An estimated 30-50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they have difficulty digesting the lactose (milk sugar) found in dairy products. Others choose to avoid dairy due to allergies, dietary preferences, ethical concerns, or health reasons. Plant-based diets in particular are surging, with more consumers opting for milks, cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams made from nuts, soy, oats, and coconuts rather than cows’ milk. Companies have rushed to meet this demand with innovative dairy-free yogurts made from various nut milks, soy, coconut, and oats. Even traditional dairy brands like Yoplait, Chobani, and Danone have added dairy-free varieties to their offerings. So where does Trader Joe’s fit into this market?
Trader Joe’s Current Dairy-Free Yogurt Selection
Trader Joe’s shoppers will find a relatively small but decent selection of dairy-free yogurts on store shelves. Options include:
- Soy yogurt: Trader Joe’s carries its own brand of cultured soy yogurts in flavors like vanilla and strawberry. They offer a protein-rich, dairy-free alternative.
- Coconut milk yogurt: The chain stocks coco-yo brand coconut milk yogurts, which are thick and creamy yogurt alternatives made from the “meat” of pressed coconuts. Flavors include plain and vanilla.
- Almond milk yogurt: For those avoiding soy, Trader Joe’s provides almond milk yogurts under its store brand. These are lower in protein but offer a nutty, non-dairy yogurt base.
- Oat milk yogurt: While not as common as other bases yet, Trader Joe’s also carries at least one oat milk-based yogurt option under its private label.
In terms of non-dairy yogurt variety, Trader Joe’s selection is quite limited compared to major chains like Whole Foods or Kroger, which can offer a dozen or more dairy-free yogurt options encompassing multiple brands and bases. Trader Joe’s choices center around its own private label products, with just a couple offerings from brands like Coco-yo coconut yogurt. Those seeking a bigger variety of soy, almond, oat, or coconut-based yogurts will likely need to shop elsewhere or supplement Trader Joe’s inventory with other stores or online purchases.
Nutrition Profile of Trader Joe’s Dairy-Free Yogurts
How does the nutrition stack up in Trader Joe’s dairy-free yogurts? Here is a quick nutrition profile comparison of some top contenders:
|Trader Joe’s Soy Yogurt||100||7g||9g||2.5g|
|Trader Joe’s Almond Yogurt||100||2g||9g||5g|
|Coco-Yo Coconut Yogurt||80||0g||4g||5g|
As you can see, soy yogurt offers the most balanced dairy-free nutrition profile, with 7g of protein, 2.5g fat and 9g sugar per serving. Those avoiding soy will get much less protein from almond or coconut milk yogurts, while still consuming 9g sugar and 5g or more fat. All three offer relatively low calorie counts per serving. Overall, soy yogurt is the most nutritionally similar to dairy-based yogurt, packing protein, calcium and other nutrients absent from nut and coconut varieties. Those with soy allergies may need to carefully supplement with other proteins and calcium sources if relying on almond or coconut yogurts from Trader Joe’s.
Taste Reviews of Trader Joe’s Dairy-Free Yogurts
How do Trader Joe’s dairy-free yogurt options actually taste? Here’s a quick taste test review roundup:
Trader Joe’s Soy Yogurt
Trader Joe’s soy yogurts offer the tangy, creamy taste profile closest to traditional dairy yogurt. The vanilla flavored variety is mildly sweet and fruity, while the strawberry swirl delivers gentle berry flavor. The soy base offers protein-rich staying power. These yogurts are smooth, enjoyable treats for dairy-free fans.
Trader Joe’s Almond Milk Yogurt
With a creamy yet thinner texture, Trader Joe’s almond milk yogurts have a mild nutty taste that isn’t overpowering. The sweetness level is moderate and the yogurt offers decent tang. Those who find soy off-putting may prefer the almond base, but the nutrition profile is less robust.
Coco-Yo Coconut Milk Yogurt
Coco-yo’s coconut yogurts sold at Trader Joe’s offer rich texture and natural sweetness, but the coconut taste is front and center. Those who enjoy the tropical flavor of coconut will appreciate these yogurts. But the coconut creaminess may overpower fruits and other mix-in flavors. The fat and sugar content are also higher than soy or almond-based yogurts.
Overall, reviews indicate Trader Joe’s dairy-free yogurts offer affordable, satisfying options for the lactose-free, though selections are limited. Taste preferences between soy, almond and coconut bases will vary by individual. Supplementing Trader Joe’s inventory with other dairy-free yogurt brands can expand the flavor and variety options further.
Are Trader Joe’s Dairy-Free Yogurts Vegan?
Vegans avoiding all animal products including eggs and dairy must vet Trader Joe’s dairy-free yogurts carefully, as not all are vegan. For instance:
- Trader Joe’s soy yogurts are vegan friendly, as soy milk and cultures make up the ingredients.
- Trader Joe’s almond milk yogurts contain milk-derived cultures and enzymes, so these are vegetarian but not vegan.
- Coco-yo’s coconut yogurts contain added vitamin D3 derived from lanolin (sheep’s wool), so these also cannot be considered fully vegan.
Always read the ingredient labels closely, as yogurt manufacturers sometimes add in milk derivatives, egg products, gelatin, honey and other animal-based ingredients. For 100% plant-based yogurts, look for clear vegan labeling or vet the ingredients lists yourself. Those seeking dairy-free Greek yogurt alternatives should also confirm if thickeners contain animal products.
Best Tips for Finding Dairy-Free Yogurt at Trader Joe’s
How can you make the most of Trader Joe’s limited but decent dairy-free yogurt selection? Here are some tips:
- Stick to soy or almond milk yogurts for vegan options.
- Look at protein content to help meet needs on plant-based diets.
- Experiment with mixing in your own fruits, nuts, granola to boost flavor.
- Look for the latest dairy-free options by new brands or flavors.
- Pair Trader Joe’s yogurts with other calcium/protein-rich foods.
- Check fridge and freezer sections for dairy-free probiotic options.
- Supplement with yogurts from other stores if needing more variety.
While Trader Joe’s dairy-free yogurt offerings are relatively small, they provide quality options at affordable prices. Combine them with homemade mix-ins and other plant-based sources of protein and nutrients for delicious dairy-free meals and snacks. Read labels carefully and check for new options to reap the benefits of yogurt without the dairy.
Are There Dairy-Free Yogurt Brands Trader Joe’s Should Add?
Given the limited selection, which other dairy-free yogurt brands should Trader Joe’s consider adding to its shelves? Popular dairy-free yogurt producers currently not carried or under-represented at Trader Joe’s include:
- Kite Hill: Makes outstanding plant-based yogurts from almond and oat bases, including Greek-style types. Offers delicious flavors and creamy texture.
- Silk: This mainstream brand offers soy, almond and coconut dairy-free yogurts in traditional and high protein options. Its affordable prices would suit Trader Joe’s shoppers.
- Forager Project: Specializes in organic, sustainable cashew milk yogurts that offer probiotics, unique flavor combinations and rich creaminess.
- Yofiit: Produces dairy-free yogurts tailored for high protein, low sugar diets, including an impressive 41g protein per serving in its Pro Series line.
- Coyo: An Australian brand of rich, tangy coconut milk yogurts that come in indulgent flavors like salted caramel and chocolate.
Any of these dairy-free innovators could give Trader Joe’s a differentiated, on-trend upgrade over its current almond, soy and coconut yogurt offerings. Given Trader Joe’s reputation for unique natural foods at affordable price points, expanding non-dairy yogurt choices from brands like these feels like a logical next step.
Does Trader Joe’s Have Any Dairy-Free Yogurt Options Besides Almond, Coconut and Soy?
For those wanting to venture beyond the standard nut and soy bases, Trader Joe’s does offer at least one innovative dairy-free yogurt line: oat milk yogurt. These provide a creamy, gluten-free yogurt alternative perfect for vegans and those with nut allergies. Trader Joe’s could further explore and lead the emerging category of oat milk yogurt, given that larger chains have yet to stock options. The chain could even develop its own oat milk yogurt recipes to make an affordable, unique product.
Beyond oat, there are a few other emerging bases Trader Joe’s could tap into for unique dairy-free yogurts:
Cashew milk yogurt: Forager Project makes thick, tangy vegan yogurts from creamy cashew milk that have a following among plant-based consumers. Trader Joe’s has the savvy to develop its own affordable cashew yogurts in this space.
Hemp milk yogurt: Hemp milk offers protein and omegas, lending well to yogurt. While options are still rare, Trader Joe’s could get ahead of the curve with hemp-based yogurts.
Flax milk yogurt: Flax milk provides fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats. A creamy yogurt made from nutrient-dense flax milk could appeal to health-conscious shoppers.
By keeping an eye on cutting-edge plant milk ingredients, Trader Joe’s has the opportunity to expand its dairy-free yogurt selection in innovative directions before competitors, answering consumer demand for new options.
Are There Low Sugar Dairy-Free Yogurts at Trader Joe’s?
For consumers limiting added or natural sugars, Trader Joe’s could improve by expanding its selection of reduced sugar dairy-free yogurts. Currently the soy, almond and coconut yogurts sold at Trader Joe’s contain 7-9g sugar per serving, coming from the milks’ natural sugars as well as added fruit juices, purees and other sweeteners. While not extremely high, some health-conscious shoppers prefer yogurt options with minimal added sugars and sweeteners. This is an area where Trader Joe’s lags behind other major chains, which carry more low sugar varieties and brands. Specifically Trader Joe’s could enhance low sugar dairy-free yogurt options by:
- Developing its own reduced sugar soy or almond yogurts through less sweetening.
- Stocking brands like Two Good Greek and Chobani Zero Sugar with lower sugar counts.
- Adding stevia-sweetened or unsweetened plain yogurt options.
- Offering plain, unflavored varieties that contain no added sugars.
More consumers are paying attention to yogurt sugar content, so expanding low sugar dairy-free offerings would better serve Trader Joe’s health-conscious shopper base. This could include adding popular lower sugar brands, innovating with less-sweetened versions of its store brand yogurts, or simply providing more unsweetened plain types. There is certainly room for Trader Joe’s to enhance its dairy-free yogurt selection for sugar-wary buyers.
While Trader Joe’s dairy-free yogurt options are currently limited compared to other major grocery chains, the products offered are quality and affordable. Shoppers will find decent tasting options among the soy, almond and coconut yogurts on Trader Joe’s shelves, especially those under the store’s private label. However Trader Joe’s has room to expand and improve its non-dairy yogurt selection by:
- Increasing flavor, brand and base diversity beyond the few basic almond, coconut and soy yogurts currently carried.
- Adding trendy new yogurt bases like oat, cashew or flax milk.
- Stocking popular dairy-free brands like Kite Hill, Forager Project or Coyo.
- Developing more low sugar yogurt options to appeal to health-conscious shoppers.
While vegans will need to read labels to confirm dairy-free status, Trader Joe’s offers acceptable starter yogurt options for the lactose-intolerant. Expanding non-dairy selections and bases would better position Trader Joe’s as an innovator and destination for plant-based shoppers seeking quality choice at affordable prices. But in general, the dairy-free yogurts currently at Trader Joe’s provide tasty, affordable nutrition for those avoiding traditional milk-based products.