Nancy’s Cultured Soy Isn’t So Cultured

In a perfect vegan world, soy yogurt would be creamy, fruity and satisfying. It’s too bad then that most soy yogurts usually taste pretty bland, too sweet or just have an overall nasty consistency. I’ve tried many types, from Amande (kinda tasteless) to Wholesoy and Co. (my personal favorite), but I’m always looking out for new kinds of vegan yogurts that can rival the taste and texture of its traditional milk-cultured counterpart.

Mango was slightly sweeter than the vanilla, though both still tasted like over-sweetened baby food.
Mango was slightly sweeter than the vanilla, though both still tasted like over-sweetened baby food.

I originally had high hopes for a new little yogurt in the nondairy aisle: Nancy’s Cultured Soy, since the packaging and ingredients looked good enough. This yogurt has an interesting and maybe slightly off-putting brownish color that made me think it had gone bad at first, but it turns out that the yogurt relies on brown rice syrup for its sugar content which probably lead to its curious coloring.

Brown yogurt, anyone?
Brown yogurt, anyone?

After getting past the odd hue, Nancy’s yogurt has quite the runny texture. I myself prefer yogurts that are a bit thicker, and in fact, I’m still hunting for a vegan yogurt that won’t fall if I turn it upside down on my spoon (used to love Yoplait custards when I was little!). The fact that it was runny definitely didn’t make me want to finish the whole container.

Pictured: the vanilla flavor, which is slightly less brown and sweet.
Pictured: the vanilla flavor, which is slightly less brown and sweet.

Aside from the undesirable texture, the actual flavor was also a massive letdown. The mango flavor was entirely too sugary for my taste (23g??), and the vanilla one was slightly less so, which still barred me from chucking in any addons like granola or cranberries since it would just make for a yucky sugar-rush. I thought the whole point of yogurt was to make you feel healthy?

A pretty good ingredient roster nonetheless.
A pretty good ingredient roster nonetheless.
Nutrition fact list reveal a good dosage of vitamin C and E, which should allow you to skip those supplements at least once a week, right?
Nutrition fact list reveal a good dosage of vitamin C and E, which should allow you to skip those supplements at least once a week, right?

Still, this yogurt is made with organic ingredients and has pretty good overall nutrition fact stats. I found I enjoyed using it in healthy shakes instead of eating it up solo. My quick fix involves an easy mix of a few tablespoonfuls with plain soymilk for a refreshing yogurt drink.

Mixing the mango yogurt with soymilk actually made for a yummy yogurt-y drink.
Mixing the mango yogurt with soymilk actually made for a yummy yogurt-y drink.

Overall, though I was not impressed with the sugary taste and brown appearance of Nancy’s yogurt, I wouldn’t mind buying it when it goes on sale as a smoothie ingredient, since it performed excellently then. The regular price is also pretty fair, at $3.99 for 24 oz. of yogurt at my local Whole Foods. No extra sugar needed!

Taste: Fair, but really, can't you do better?

Look: Fair, but really, can't you do better?

Price ($3.99 for large): Fair, but really, can't you do better?

Would buy again? Maybe.

Sound it out!

You may also like

16 comments

  1. Interesting…I just bought original, but it doesn’t have a runny texture. It’s more like gravy out of the fridge. It’s a most unappealing texture. Just awful. I can’t wait for wholesoy to get back on the shelves.

  2. Just opened the lid of the Mango and was shocked by the color. Googled and found your review. Overall I agree, too sweet but I don’t mind the consistency. I bought several so I think I’ll use as a smoothie ingredient as you suggested.

  3. If this was the first soy yogurt I ever tried, I’d probably assume all vegan yogurt was just gross. The texture was awful, and the taste was not much like yogurt at all. I’m glad I know that there are some good ones out here, but I don’t know how this even passed taste tests and ended up on the shelves.

  4. I agree, soy yogurt is tough to find although I didn’t think this was too bad. Have you tried coconutmilk “yogurt”? It’s more of a custard than a yogurt but if you’re still looking for an alternative, that might be one idea.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion… though I personally enjoy soy-based yogurt consistency better. I’ve tried the “custard” like So Delicious coconut milk yogurt before, but it just tasted like bland mush and really turned me off to trying other coconut milk yogurts. Is there another coconut-milk based yogurt brand in particular that you’ve liked and can suggest other than So Delicious?

  5. Whole Soy & Co. has officially gone under, closing their doors very recently. Since then I have been researching like a crazy woman! I’ve tried Silk, So-Good and some strange coconut yogurt ALL were disgusting and had no natural fruit. They were more like runny ice cream dyed some disgusting color. Since Whole Soy is the clear leader in the market, I can’t understand why some large company hasn’t stepped in to rescue them. Their fan base is huge and their product is far superior to all of the others! With the baby boomers generation all aging and becoming more lactose intolerant one would think the market would be flooded with options for dairy free yogurt. Is it just me or does this seem like a huge miss by supermarket marketing personnel?

  6. Yes, Deb, you would think Whole Soy could be resurrected by someone, as their customer base is huge. No other brand can compare! Let’s put our good thoughts towards this. I’ve been emailing Whole Foods, where I shop, suggesting they supply some soy yogurt, any kind. As they supported Whole Soy previously, maybe they can figure out a solution.

  7. Whole Soy was the best – ever !
    I have not found a satisfactory soy yogurt since they closed.
    If they cannot come back they should sell the recipe and process
    to somebody – otherwise their are no soy alternatives.

  8. So, in terms of the ingredient profile in Nancy’s product, it contains amazake, which will contribute some sugars to the total listed on the Nutrition facts, as well as to the color of the final product. It’s quite different from rice syrup(not used in this yogurt)–a much milder sweetness, with more ‘culture’ since it’s fermented. So, between that ingredient and the added yogurt cultures, Nancy’s is in fact a VERY cultured product, texture/consistency notwithstanding. It also uses agar as a thickener, which is a much more traditional one than pectin or other more common modern thickeners.
    BTW, it doesn’t appear yet on their site, but Nancy’s recently introduced an Unsweetened Soy, which I have tried. It contains plain rice rather than amazake(made from brown rice, usu.), and has a very short overall ingredient list, as well as a lighter hue than the Vanilla(which I most often choose). It reminds me somewhat of the Wildwood soy yogurt…but I can’t compare it to the WholeSoy unsweetened since I could rarely if ever locate that variety before production stopped totally.

  9. I have tried many non-dairy as well, and I think think the plain Nancys yogurt in the big tubs is quite good.

  10. Personally, I don’t think the color is important at all. The natural color is what the natural color is. Pre-conceived notions, built up after decades of eating artificially-colored foods, should be set aside in today’s health-conscious and environmentally-conscious world. People need to learn how to accept the natural color of foods, regardless of what that is. Also, we should encourage companies to artifically color their products to satisfy notions of color that may be unrealistic.

  11. Typo in previous comment: That should read: we should not encourage companies to artificially color their products to satisfy notions of color that may be unrealistic.

    1. Hi Ken,

      You are absolutely right. I think I was more unsatisfied with the taste and texture of the yogurt than the color (actually I don’t mind it too much, it was more an overall unfavorable opinion of the yogurt itself) and I avoid all foods that have dyes added to them. It’s so difficult to avoid those foods, but it can be done.

      Thanks for commenting!!

      -VC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.