From Cow to Pot: Our Love of Home-Made British Yogurt

April 15, 2020 | BY Alston Dairy

From Cow to Pot: Our Love of Home-Made British Yogurt

Over the last 50 years, yogurt has become one of Britain's favourite foods, creating a market worth up to £2.6 billion as of 2018. It is the versatility and convenience of yogurt, alongside its rich and creamy taste, that makes it a winner with people of all ages. You can tuck into a pot of yogurt with breakfast, have some as an afternoon snack, or indulge with a few spoons as a post-dinner dessert.

The origins of the British yogurt industry

Swiss-style yogurt was introduced to the UK in around 1965 by Express Dairies, which had a production line based in Haywards Heath, Sussex. Though from humble beginnings, this simple snack and dessert yogurt combination, which included sugar and pieces of real fruit, soon disrupted the British yogurt market and became an exciting new arrival. It had a deliciously fruity flavour,suited anyone with a sweet tooth, and was presented in a memorable churn-style pot, making it an instant hit with the high-end consumer market and with retailers such as Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason. Over time, as demand increased, supermarkets took more of an interest and major retailers wanted to stock the new-style British yogurts. By 1972, sales rose to around 150 million pots per year. Yogurt had changed its reputation from a fitness food to a must-have treat,snack or dessert.

As an industry, the British yogurt scene is an absolute success story – processing milk and then selling it for a profit, giving the industry profit margins of around 15% or more – numbers that other industries can only dream of. With various types of natural, organic, Greek-style, fruit, fat-free and whipped-style yogurt on offer, the market has a very large appeal, catering to everyone from young children to the elderly.

That said, if you take a look at your local yogurt aisle in the present day, the British yogurt industry is facing fierce competition from European yogurt makers. In the 1980s, German brand Muller took a risky move into the booming British yogurt industry and made a name for itself through its luxurious 'Corner' range, transforming the reputation of a healthy yogurt into a more decadent dessert-style treat. This change in direction made yogurt appeal to dessert-eaters who wouldn't normally consider yogurt as an option. Other European brands followed suit, leaving today's British yogurt aisle filled with various large continental brands alongside home-grown names. Two thirds of brands in the average British yogurt aisle are now owned by foreign companies, but this has also meant that there is still space in the industry for home-made British yogurts, made right here in the UK on local farms.

British yogurt from Alston Dairy

At Alston Dairy, our founder Ann believes that there are still folks out there who want to eat British yogurt containing fresh ingredients that have been locally sourced and produced right here in the UK. All of our yogurt is produced and packaged on our farm, is probiotic and made with live cultures. Our motto is from cow to pot in 24 hours – which is how we make sure our products tasteas fresh and creamy as possible – whether you're using them in cooking or simply to indulge at anytime of the day.

The health benefits of buying British yogurt

By buying our British yogurts that have been made right here in the UK at Alston Dairy, you're helping to give your body some of the vital nutrients it needs as part of a healthy, balanced diet, including:

Calcium

British yogurts containing fresh cows' milk contain lots of calcium that is essential for strong teeth and bones. 100g of non-fat yogurt contains around 110mg of calcium.

B Vitamins

Yogurt is also rich in B vitamins such as B12 and riboflavin, which can help keep heart disease at bay.

Protein

Did you know that yogurt contains a good amount of protein? With around 6g per 100g.

Magnesium

Around 120ml of yogurt contains 9% of your daily potassium intake, which is essential to help the body regulate blood pressure and metabolism, as well as bone health.

Gut health

It has been suggested that yogurt can greatly benefit digestive health, and that certain types of probiotics and live cultures such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus can help aid conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) while boosting the immune system.

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