Hälsa Oatgurt—the first vegan oat-based yogurt in the United States—recently launched at Wegmans Food Markets as well as health-food stores in New York City. The drinkable product, containing fermented whole-grain oats from Scandinavia, fruit juice, pea protein, and live cultures, is available in strawberry, blueberry, mango-pear, and apple-chai flavors. Scandinavian-born Hälsa co-founders Helena Lumme and Mika Manninen first launched oat-based beverage Simpli Oat Shake in the US in 2011. However, the product was discontinued due to lack of production funding. This year, after oat-based beverages such as Oatly made their mark in North America, Lumme and Manninen decided the timing was right to launch Oatgurt, a slightly thicker product in single-serving bottles. “In 2011, no one really knew about oat-based, but things are very different now,” Lumme said. “Oatly’s launch has definitely helped us, as everyone is talking about oats, and to have an oat yogurt is not seen as weird at all.” Earlier this year, Oatly launched an oat-based ice cream line and blended coffee beverages in Europe, and plans to debut a host of products in the US in the near future.
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