New Zealand-based dairy free yoghurt makers Raglan Food Co has recently opened its brand new factory with a far larger production capacity to meet the rising demand for vegan foods around the world. The launch of its new facility comes ahead of the brand’s planned expansion into more dairy-free products next year to add to its existing line-up of coconut-based yoghurts.
Raglan’s new factory has a capacity of 12 tonnes of coconut yoghurt daily, amounting to 25,000 jars being shipped out every single week to supermarkets across New Zealand and distributors in Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China. It comes six years after the brand was founded in Latesha Randall and Seb Walter’s home kitchen, which kicked off their startup that now holds the title of being New Zealand’s biggest dairy-free yoghurt company.
We are looking at new things so pretty much anything you can think of that you can make in a tank, such as drinks, sauces, dips, sour cream, and cheese – all these things we’ve been exploring.Latesha Randall, Co-Founder, Raglan Food Co
Speaking to Stuff NZ, co-founder Randall says that the new factory has been two years in the planning with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic adding more challenges to its construction. Now, finally opening the doors to their new site, the brand will be taking the next step to launching more dairy-free products. Without mentioning what the two new plant-based lines will be, Randall revealed that they are slated to launch in February 2021.
“We started with just us making yoghurt in our home kitchen and then I roped in a lot of my family and friends, and we were making it in a community kitchen locally, and then we built a mini-factory out of a shipping container and operated out of that for a few years,” she said.
“We are looking at new things so pretty much anything you can think of that you can make in a tank, such as drinks, sauces, dips, sour cream, and cheese – all these things we’ve been exploring.”
“It’s really exciting to start doing something new. We’ve been making coconut yoghurt for six years now, so the team will be pumped to make something new,” Randall added.
The launch of Raglan’s brand new factory comes as demand for plant-based alternatives continues to surge globally, boosted by rising awareness of health and the dangers of the animal supply chain amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Dairy substitutes in particular have seen their sales tumble even more due to the pandemic-related supply chain disruption after years of a downward trend due to consumer sustainability concerns, a double-blow that experts have described as an existential crisis for the industry.
We’ve been making coconut yoghurt for six years now, so the team will be pumped to make something new.Latesha Randall, Co-Founder, Raglan Food Co
Aside from being a sustainable, clean-labelled brand, Raglan has gained a following amongst conscious consumers for its reputation as a purpose-led company – an increasingly important consideration for Gen Z and millennial shoppers.
Since its founding, Raglan has contributed more than AU$44,000 (US$33,000) to social and environmental causes, including funding paid volunteering projects for their staff members ranging from beach clean-ups to maintaining the local bush reserve. The startup has also donated over 41,000 jars of their coconut-based yoghurts to charities and sponsored local animal sanctuaries.
All images courtesy of Raglan.