Nancy’s Probiotic Foods: “Committed to the Belief That Everyone Needs Probiotics Daily in Their Diet”

Sheryl Kesey Thompson, Co-owner/VP Marketing of Springfield Creamery

Eugene, Oregon-based, Springfield Creamery, producer of Nancy’s Probiotic Foods, is a family-owned and operated company. Founded in 1960, the Creamery has three generations working side by side every day. Long respected as a food innovator, it was the first company in the US to add live probiotics to yogurt almost 50 years ago.  

We had the opportunity to discuss Nancy’s Probiotic Foods’ newly launched vegan-friendly oat milk yogurt with Sheryl Kesey Thompson, Co-Owner and VP Marketing of Springfield Creamery. 

Please introduce Nancy’s Probiotic Foods to our readers and describe its new non-dairy oak milk yogurt?
The owner of Nancy’s Probiotic Foods, Springfield Creamery, is a family-owned and operated company located in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1960 by Chuck and Sue Kesey, they are now joined by three generations of family members who work side-by-side every day, to make the healthiest probiotic food on the market. In fact, Springfield Creamery and the Kesey’s are known as probiotic pioneers, having launched the first yogurt in the US in 1970, to contain live probiotics. 

Nancy’s most recent innovation, Nancy’s Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt, was the first Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt available in the United States. Made from gluten-free oats, the new line of vegan yogurts delivers the creaminess of dairy yogurt with billions of live non-dairy probiotics per serving. Nancy’s new Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurts are Non-GMO Project Verified and offer 6 grams of plant-based protein per serving. In addition to being gluten-free, they are also free from soy, peanuts, and tree-nuts. They also contain 30-50% less sugar than the leading plant-based yogurts.

Nancy’s Oatmilk Flavor Line-up

What was the motivation to offer vegan-friendly, non-dairy options? 
For nearly 25 years, Nancy’s had offered a non-dairy yogurt alternative, as they are committed to the belief that everyone needs probiotics daily in their diet. As interest in plant-based options continued to grow, and as a company with a long heritage of probiotic innovation, it made sense for Nancy’s to update and offer a new line of non-dairy products. It was important for Nancy’s Probiotic Foods to offer a creamy, great-tasting plant-based product while delivering both a protein boost and the beneficial live probiotics that Nancy’s is known for.   

How many vegan products does Nancy’s Probiotic Foods offer?
At this time Nancy’s Probiotic Foods offers a full line of Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurts, in four delicious flavors: Plain, Vanilla, Strawberry Hibiscus, and Blueberry. The Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurts are available in both 6oz. and 24 oz. sizes.

Where can consumers find Nancy’s oat milk yogurt, which US retailers carry it?
Nancy’s Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt is currently available in Sprouts Farmers Markets, Wegman’s, Market of Choice, New Season’s Market, Safeway (Denver area), Haggens, Central Markets and numerous independent co-ops across the US. There are new stores coming on board each week with Nancy’s Oatmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt.

Are there current plans to continue to expand Nancy’s vegan options?
Nancy’s Probiotic Foods is looking at expanded flavors and vegan options in 2020. 

Please include any other information that you would like to share with our readers.
Springfield Creamery, the makers of Nancy’s Probiotic Foods, has a long and colorful history that spans nearly 60 years. Springfield Creamery got its start in 1960, when Chuck and Sue Kesey graduated from college and returned home to Springfield, Oregon. Chuck, brother of author Ken Kesey as well as a second-generation dairyman, and Sue supplied gallon glass returnable jugs of milk to other local creameries. By 1969, it became apparent that a niche product was needed for the Creamery’s survival. In a serendipitous move, Nancy Van Brasch Hamren arrived in Oregon from San Francisco and began working at the Creamery as a bookkeeper. It wasn’t long before Chuck blended his education in dairy science with Nancy’s yogurt making experience, and together they created the first US yogurt made with L. acidophilus cultures…Nancy’s Yogurt.

Nancy's Probiotic yogurt
©Nancy’s

The Nancy’s brand was born, and a fan base in the Northwest quickly followed. A healthy yogurt packed with probiotics, Nancy’s hit a chord with the sixties counter-culture movement. But by 1972, the Creamery faced hard financial times, and in a creative move, the Grateful Dead was called upon to perform a benefit concert for the Creamery. With more than 20,000 people attending and tickets printed on Nancy’s Yogurt labels, the concert went down in history and was immortalized in a documentary entitled, “Sunshine Daydream.” That benefit concert was the boost the Creamery needed, and soon Nancy’s expanded into co-ops all over the Northwest. Nancy’s Yogurt also caught on in the Bay Area during the mid-1970s thanks to two young entrepreneurs – music legend Huey Lewis and his business partner – who shipped Nancy’s in the back of a U-Haul covered in bags of ice.

Today, Nancy’s Probiotic Foods distributes throughout the US and has over 100 products available, and all are fully cultured with live probiotics. Find out more about Springfield Creamery and the Kesey family’s journey, as well as the delicious Nancy’s Probiotic Foods products at nancysyogurt.com.