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Take Enforcement Action Against Kite Hill’s “Almond Milk Yogurt,” NMPF Tells Regulators

January 5, 2018

National Milk’s effort to prompt the enforcement of dairy-specific labeling terms took another step forward at the start of the new year when NMPF asked regulators to take action against Kite Hill, whose imitation yogurt products violate the federal definition for dairy foods and fail to provide the same nutrition as real yogurt.

NMPF called out Hayward, California-based Kite Hill for illegally labeling its line of products and implying the nut-based foods are suitable substitutes for the real dairy foods it attempts to mimic. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern said that Kite Hill’s line of products “is doubly deceiving, first as it declares the use of ‘almond milk’ as the main ingredient in their foods, and second in calling the resulting product ‘yogurt.’ A whitened slurry of nuts does not make milk, and adding bacteria to that mix and pouring it in a cup does not make yogurt.”

In letters sent in early January to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and California Department of Food and Agriculture, NMPF called out Hayward, California-based Kite Hill for illegally labeling its “yogurt,” which under existing federal regulations should be termed “imitation yogurt product.” The FDA standard of identity for yogurt defines a product made by culturing cream, milk, partially skimmed milk, or skim milk, alone or in combination, with specific lactic acid bacteria. NMPF said that “without real milk’s many nutrients as a base, this fake yogurt product fails to deliver the same nutrition as the real thing.”

NMPF also noted that the Kite Hill imitation delivers 40 percent more calories and 10 more grams of fat compared to an equivalent serving of vanilla yogurt, while providing one-third less protein and zero calcium.

A shareable infographic illustrating Kite Hill’s nutritionally inferior product is now on NMPF’s website as the latest installment in its “Dairy Imitators: Exposed” effort, which illustrates the nutritional disparities between imitation foods and real dairy foods, such as yogurt.