But I wanted to do the taste test. I just needed some unbiased opinions. So I turned to my mostly omnivorous co-workers at the Memphis Flyer (the alt-newsweekly where I'm a reporter/editor). Kite Hill shipped me a box of their yogurts, and I went to Whole Foods and picked up other vegan brands in the same flavors as the Kite Hill yogurts.
Then I set them all out on a counter at work with little scoring sheets. Each person who tried the yogurts was instructed to write their names under their favorite of each flavor (with any notes they wished to add).
Here's a yogurt testing palette!
First up, we had So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk Vanilla versus Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt Vanilla. Out of eight testers, six chose the Kite Hill over So Delicious. Comments in favor of Kite Hill included notes about its superior texture. One tester who voted for So Delicious said she preferred the coconut milk yogurt because it had less of a nutty flavor.
As for me, I love both of these! But I think Kite Hill has a more authentic yogurt texture. The So Delicious yogurt has more of a pudding-like feel. Here's an inside shot of both.
Next up was Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt Peach versus Daiya Peach Dairy & Soy Free Greek Yogurt. Six testers tried both of these, and ALL SIX voted for Kite Hill. The texture seemed to be the deciding factor here. The Daiya yogurt has a very thick texture, and even though it's supposed to be like Greek yogurt, our omnivore testers said it was too clumpy and thick for even a Greek style.
One tester voted the Kite Hill Peach as her favorite overall of all the yogurts. She said it had the best flavor and was most like dairy yogurt. She also appreciated the bits of real peach inside the yogurt. Here's an inside shot of both.
We pitted Almond Dream Strawberry Non-Dairy Yogurt against Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt Strawberry. There were seven testers for this one, and six chose the Kite Hill as the winner. The seventh tester actually said she didn't like either one, stating that the almond flavor in both was too prevalent (clearly, someone doesn't like almonds!).
All those who chose the Kite Hill Strawberry said it won by a landslide. Many were turned off by Almond Dream's chunky texture, and one tester even said Almond Dream "tasted like chemicals." For the record, the ingredient list for Almond Dream shows only natural ingredients. Another tester said Kite Hill would have won on appearance alone even if he hadn't tasted them both. Here's an inside shot, and as you can see, the Almond Dream doesn't look all that appealing.
Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative Blueberry went up against Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt Blueberry. This was a tough call for some of our testers. One chose Silk over Kite Hill, citing a better color, flavor, and texture. Another tester called it a tie, and one said she preferred the consistency of Silk, which was more like dairy yogurt, but she said it was too sweet. Three of the eight testers on this one said Kite Hill was the definite winner.
As for me, I felt like Kite Hill was better for two reasons — it wasn't as sweet and had slightly more yogurt-y tang. But both are great! Close call. Here's an inside shot.
Finally, So Delicious Greek Style Plain Cultured Coconut Milk went up against Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt Plain. Kite Hill won across the board with four testers, and one other tester said she didn't like either one.
Some testers who tried other yogurts were too intimidated to try these plain yogurts at all because they weren't as sweet, and those who did said the Kite Hill was better because it had just a tad more sweetness than the So Delicious. But I'll tell you that if I were using these in a savory application, like a tzatziki sauce, I'd pick the So Delicious. The lack of sweetness would be appealing for that. But if I were to eat these with granola and agave for breakfast, I'd pick the Kite Hill.
Kite Hill was the winner in every taste test, but I'd say So Delicious and Silk were close calls. Personally, I really do think Kite Hill is the best yogurt on the market right now, but several other vegan yogurts are delicious too. Almond Dream definitely needs to step up its game, especially since a far superior almond milk yogurt is available now with Kite Hill.