Yogurt-making is an artform with 7,000 years of history—that’s a long line of generational knowledge passed down from one home cook to another. Whether you prefer making yogurt in a terracotta pot or if you measure temperature with a finger and a 10-count, yogurt makers all have their own methods to the madness for culturing milk. In 1970, the introduction of electric yogurt makers for home use in the United States by VMC Products for Health pitched yogurt as the ultimate health food and ushered in a whole new way of connecting consumers with the age-old process of making yogurt at home. These appliances—bulky, multi-piece contraptions that look as “crunchy” as their health promises—have fallen out of favor with home cooks who see their appliances as functional trophies and reflections on their personal brands.
Now a new generation of yogurt makers for home use are re-introducing the joys of making yogurt in the comfort of the home. Yomee, the newest entrant on the market, is the world’s first automatic yogurt maker. “Traditional yogurt makers require lot of work—heat the milk, cool it, seed it, incubate it and then move the finished yogurt to fridge—and I did not even mention cleaning up,” Ashok Jaiswal, founder and CEO of Yomee, said in an email. “They work well for a family with lot of time. We wanted to create an appliance that helps everyone make two servings yogurt in one single step.” With the Yomee, add milk into the double-walled cup and a live culture “pod” to the automated mixing stand, and the machine does the rest. The appliance heats the milk to the desired temperature, maintains temp for six hours, and then cools the final yogurt product when its done fermenting, sending you in-app updates along the way. Consumers can use dairy or vegan milk and choose from three different styles of yogurt—greek, plain or stirred.
Although they are billing the product as the “Keurig for making fresh yogurt at home,” Yomee’s unique pod design is actually a compressed tablet of edible yogurt-making materials. “Creating eco friendly, 100% soluble pods was our hardest challenge,” Jaiswal told MOLD. “Any supplier we contacted recommended that we go the traditional route of plastic pods but we did not want that. We worked hard with our lab in New Zealand for a year to finally come up with the pods that contains yogurt culture & rice scratch, compressed together in a pod share. These pods drop into the milk and just dissolve,” he explains. The extra attention paid to this critical component of the design avoids the disastrous environmental impact that single serve coffee makers have caused.
Beyond the promise of an automated yogurt maker, Yomee’s makers hint at the ability to customize yogurt beyond the three main styles and potentially even use the appliance for other types of ferments. With the difficulty of creating the right consistency for plant-based yogurts, our editors are interested in the consistency and quality of their vegan yogurt options as well. The Food-X business accelerator alum blew past their Kickstarter funding goal in the first 24 hours of their campaign. Now with two more weeks to go, there’s still time to get in on the ground with their initial campaign pricing of $99 for the full set of hardware and 20 pods (good for 4 weeks of yogurt).