When the founders of Lavva had been looking for a plant-based yogurt which did not taste like an alternative to dairy, their search came back empty. So they decided to create their own; as an “alternative to the alternatives”, Lavva yogurt is formed from the nutritious pili nut which creates a texture as rich as any dairy product.
The founder and CEO of Lavva, Elizabeth Fisher, has an inspiring story and an innovative product which she described with us here.
Can you please introduce your products / brand to our readers?
At Lavva, all we wanted was a plant-based yogurt that didn’t taste like an “alternative.” When we couldn’t find one, we made our own.
Lavva is made with a wild mix of organic, fair-trade pili nuts, coconut, young plantains, cassava, lime, and Himalayan sea salt. We transform this into yogurt using a proprietary blend of vegan probiotics, which pack 50 billion live probiotics in every serving of Lavva, along with food-based prebiotics from the young plantains and cassava.
What makes Lavva different from other dairy-free yogurts?
Unlike other dairy-free yogurts — Lavva is made with 100% real food ingredients for a lusciously creamy texture that’s free of added sugar, gums, natural flavors, colors, and preservatives. Instead of adding sugar to our fruit flavors, we use 100% real fruit.
Lavva is naturally vegan, paleo, keto-friendly, and Whole30 compliant.
Could you tell us a bit more about the characteristics of pili nuts?
Pili nuts are a tree nut with a buttery flavor and creamy texture. They’re grown in tropical Southeast Asia in volcanic soil on pili trees, called “The Tree of Hope.” Pili nuts are the lowest carbohydrate nut and are brimming with Magnesium, Vitamin E, nourishing fats, and antioxidants.
We source our pili nuts from our grower cooperative in the Philippines, which operates sustainable, biodiverse farms. Unlike almonds, Pili require very little water and create zero waste. Besides using nuts for food and oil, the shells and bark are used for furniture, and the sap is used in cosmetics. Lavva is proud to lead the world’s first fair-trade and organically certified pili cooperative. With over 120 farms, we work closely with our growers to ensure fair wages, provide business support, and ensure ongoing sustainable harvesting.
What sparked your idea for using these for Lavva?
During my recovery journey from advanced-stage cancer, I rebuilt my diet around nourishing, high-fat foods. That’s how I discovered the pili nut. Blown away by its rich, buttery flavor, I began blending pili nuts with coconut milk. The result was unlike anything I’d ever tasted before; spoonably thick, deliciously rich.
How long did it take to develop the first yogurt starting from the initial idea to finalising its recipe?
Over the next three years, I worked on perfecting the recipe. Instead of taking industry shortcuts like gums, coloring agents, artificial flavors, or added sugar—I forged my own path. I discovered young plantains added a beautiful texture and a hint of natural sweetness. I learned cassava provided balance and consistency. And vegan probiotics added the perfect tartness. Today, I’m healthy and Lavva is alive for all to enjoy.
Which of your products is the bestseller and why?
Our Original is always one of our customer favorites thanks to its creamy, unique flavor, but our Strawberry and Raspberry give it a run for its money — sweetened only with real fruit. And, we recently launched two new flavors, Vanilla and Mango, which are quickly rising up the charts.
How many yogurts do you produce/sell daily/weekly/monthly?
Lavva has been met with an incredible consumer response. We’re lucky to have crazy passionate fans supporting us.
Where is Lavva currently available and do you have plans to expand to other markets in future?
Lavva is currently sold in over 4,000 stores across the United States, including Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts, Wegmans, The Fresh Market, and Albertsons Safeway. While we remain focused on the US market, we’re exploring opportunities to bring Lavva to excited fans overseas.
Do you have any new products in development?
Yes! In addition to some super delicious new Lavva flavors, we’re working on new products that deliver on additional usage occasions while staying true to Lavva’s core brand beliefs of plant-based, delicious taste, clean ingredients, zero added sugar, and functionality for health. Stay tuned for exciting some announcements in the future.