Celebrating Innovations Focus | COYO®

  • 07/02/2020

We are excited to bring to you excerpts from Food Innovation Australia Limited's (FIAL) latest edition of Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations book. The FIAL team searched far and wide to find some of the best innovations in the country — from small businesses to multinationals, the new 2019 book edition showcases 50 innovations from across the whole value chain.

COYO® disrupted the dairy industry in 2010 when it released the world’s first Coconut Milk Yoghurt, creating a new global food genre. 

Challenge: Being long-time vegetarians, with a passion and interest in gut health, COYO® founders Henry and Sandra Gosling saw a gap in the market for a dairy-free alternative to yoghurt that was nourishing to the body but also high quality and delicious tasting.

Through speaking with friends and gaining insights from like-minded people they were able to glean that COYO® not only needed to be vegetarian but should also tick all the boxes for vegans. They determined there was a need for a high-quality, allergen-friendly, low-sugar, non-dairy yoghurt that was also free from soy. Additionally, this needed to be produced in a dairy-free facility to ensure the risk of contamination was eliminated.

As a boy growing up in Fiji, Henry had created hand-made coconut milk for family evening meals. Sandra’s background in naturopathy and bacteriology gave the duo the perfect background to launch an innovative concept.

Henry and Sandra originally went through six months of rigorous bench testing before they were even satisfied enough to start engaging in feedback with friends and family on the original COYO® “natural” recipe. After reviewing all the feedback, Sandra finally took a tub of COYO® to her local yoga class for friends to try — one member said: “oh, that’s heaven in a mouthful”. The path was clear, and the innovation had the green light.

Every ingredient was scrutinised, even the number of ingredients. The final recipe was based on coconut cream, tapioca starch and live “vegan” cultures, which took months to source. The idea was conceptualised in 2009 and launched in 2010. Initially, Henry and Sandra produced, packed, sold and distributed the product themselves. The company eventually created a manufacturing plant that became BRC certified (British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety) and ACO accredited (Australian Certified Organic).

The current COYO® recipe now includes scientifically-backed COYObiotics®, a unique set of six bacteria strains selected to support bioactivity and gut health.

Want to hear more about COYO and other great Australian food and Agribusiness Innovations? Get your copy of the 4th edition of the Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations book HERE.