Are plant-based products better for my health?

It’s all a question of balance.

A proper, varied diet ensures that your body receives plenty of different nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre as well as other important things like protein, fats and carbohydrates. Nonetheless, eating plant-based foods is a good idea for lots of reasons.

Firstly, your body is built to eat and process plants. For over a hundred thousand years, humans as a species have lived off a diet primarily consisting of fruit and vegetables. Today, most people eat more than enough meat but are falling short of getting their quota of vegetables, fruits, seeds and grains. This means our bodies aren’t getting the vital nutrients they need.

Eating plant-based foods is also a lot more environmentally friendly as yoghurt alternatives made from coconuts or almonds require significantly less CO2 and methane in their production than yoghurt made from cow’s milk.

At Abbot Kinney’s, we make delicious, organic, plant-based products with only the very best ingredients. We try to use as few ingredients as possible, never add any unnatural additives and go out of our way to responsibly produce everything we make.

What fats are in coconuts?

The story surrounding fats and fatty acids is rather long, technical and complicated. Here’s the shortest version we could write.

Coconut milk contains saturated fatty acids with medium-length chains known as medium-chain triglycerides or MTCs.

There is a lot of debate regarding saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, and whether or not they are good for you is a matter many nutritional experts disagree on. One thing however is certain – saturated fats play an important role in our body’s health and should not be avoided entirely.

While there is some discussion regarding the advantages of medium-chain triglycerides, it is generally accepted that MCT fatty acids are digested more easily and supply energy faster than the more common long-chain fatty acids.
This means that it is harder for them to be stored as fat by the body. On top of that, they also help you make you feel fuller far faster than their long-chain cousins and what’s more, they also keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Half of the MCT fatty acids in coconut consist of lauric acid which the body converts into monolaurin, well regarded for its bactericidal and virus-destroying properties.

Like we said, it’s rather complicated.

What fats are in almonds?

Almonds contain lots of unsaturated fats.

While some research has shown that eating unsalted almonds or other nuts has a protective impact against cardiovascular diseases, almost all dieticians agree that it is a good idea to eat a few nuts on a daily basis.

Eating 15 grams of unsalted nuts a day has been seen to lower the risk of certain types of cardiovascular diseases by around 20%. Interestingly, there are 15 grams of almonds in 100 grams of Almond Start.

Coincidence? We’ll let you decide.

Do you add any sort of sugar to your products?

Our Coco Start and Almond Start do not contain any added sugars, sweeteners or unnecessary additives whatsoever. All of the sugars that you can see in our nutritional info are sugars that naturally occur in the nuts or fruits themselves.

Our Coco Frost does contain a small amount of agave syrup or coconut blossom sugar. We use them to improve the overall texture and also because without a little bit of sugar, you wouldn’t be able to scoop out our Frost. Ice cream is a treat so while it’s important to treat yourself, as with all good things, please enjoy in moderation.

Are Coco Start and Almond Start good replacements for regular yoghurt?

Plant-based yoghurt replacements and yoghurt made from cow’s milk are two very different things. That may seem like a straightforward statement but yoghurt made from cow’s milk is an animal product and yoghurt made from coconuts or almonds is plant-based. They therefore contain different nutrients.

The biggest difference is that Coco Start and Almond Start contain fewer sugars and more vegetable fats than cow’s yoghurt. While there is quite a lot less calcium in Coco Start and Almond Start than in regular yoghurt, they both contain a lot more magnesium.

So while our products are not direct replacements for regular yoghurt, they are plant-based, vegan, paleo and naturally lactose and gluten free.

Does your packaging contain bisphenol A/BPA?

No. All our cups are made from polypropylene and contain no bisphenol A/BPA. Polypropylene is easily recyclable, so please recycle it with your plastic.


Coconut milk

Having tasted all kinds of organic coconuts, the best tasting coconuts we tried came from Sri Lanka.

A coconut is ripe after around twelve months and if nature is allowed to run its course, the coconut will fall from the tree by itself.

During ripening, most of the coconut water is converted into flesh and fat. The coconut is at its tastiest when its shell is a nice, dark-brown colour and you can still hear sloshing inside when you shake it.

The ripe coconuts are cracked in the factory in Sri Lanka and the flesh is scraped out, and squeezed three times until only the dry coconut flesh remains. Coconut milk is then made by adding a little bit of water to the dry coconut.


Our Almond Start is made from organic Sicilian Tuono almonds. These almonds have a more delicate flavour than the Spanish or Californian almonds that you tend to find in the shops. They are harvested in September, cracked and blanched in order to remove their skins and then ground very finely. By adding water, you make “almond milk” and that’s what we use to make our plant-based yoghurt alternative.

Yoghurt cultures

Coco Start and Almond Start are fresh tasting, delicious alternatives to yoghurt. Like yoghurt, they are both fermented and we do this using four types of plant-based yoghurt cultures. They all have the most beautiful Latin names that look like this:

Streptococcus thermophiles.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Lactobacillus acidophilus.
And Bifidus lactis.

The first two convert the sugar in the coconut and almond milk into acids to ensure a nice, full texture. The last two are probiotics which are the bacteria that many dieticians consider vital for maintaining healthy intestinal flora.


The west coast of India is world-famous for its mangoes. Which is not surprising, given the unique combination of factors present there. Firstly, there is a lot of sun and rain – great for growing most things. Secondly, the volcanic soil is full of iron – again, great for most plants. And thirdly, the strong coastal winds carry a host of goodness with them.

It’s why the Alfonso mangoes that grow here are so astoundingly delicious. Their beautiful, dark-yellow flesh is naturally rich in fibre, which makes for such good quality puree. It also happens to be wonderfully sweet and full of flavour. Which is why with all that natural goodness and taste, they’re a great addition to our Coco Start.


We spent a long time getting the composition of our muesli just right. Around 70% is made up of healthy grains like rye, barley, wheat, oat and buckwheat while the other 30% consists of nuts and dried fruits. Our muesli contains lots of fibre which is great for your digestive system. And it tastes really good too.


The cocoa in our Coco Frost is 100% organic and comes from the Dominican Republic. We tried lots and this was our favourite.


We use fresh, organic strawberries from Spain and Italy for our Coco Frost Strawberry. The tastiest strawberries are the ones that grow in places with lots of sunshine. Which is why we get ours from the southern parts of Spain and Italy.

Tapioca starch

Tapioca starch is made from manioc which is also known as cassava. We get ours from Vietnam. It is a natural thickener that ensures the great texture of our Coco Start and Almond Start when we add the yoghurt cultures.

Locust bean gum

Carob trees are beautiful trees. They fan out horizontally, and the pods that grow from them are so pretty, they look like small works of art. Sadly, the Netherlands’ climate is too cold for them to grow in but you’ll find them in abundance by the Mediterranean Sea. The pits in the pods are a little bit like the beans in broad beans and it’s these pits that are ground down into the flour that we use as a binding agent. Together with the coconut milk, it gives our Coco Frost that wonderfully creamy texture.

Coconut blossom sugar

Coconut blossom sugar is made from the nectar of the blossom of the coconut palm. It is an unrefined sugar which has a fantastically deep, slightly-roasted, caramel flavour. As a general rule, we don’t like using sugars and try to do so as little as possible to our products. But this particular gem from Indonesia has stolen our hearts and really makes our Coco Frost sing.

Agave syrup

An agave plant might look like a cactus but it isn’t a cactus. There are many different types of agave plants and the majority can be found in Mexico. All sorts of products are made from agave, with tequila being the most famous. Agave syrup is made from the nectar of the plant and is a sweet sugar with a low glycaemic index. We use a small quantity of agave syrup in our Coco Frost to make it ‘scoopable’. Otherwise, it’d be all sloppy. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t use sugar at all. Tequila, however, is an entirely different story altogether.

Why don’t you just call your products ‘yoghurt’?

We’d like to, but the word ‘yoghurt’ is protected in Europe. You are only allowed to use it for products made with cow’s milk and yoghurt cultures. Whilst we agree this is a bit strange, since it’s the cultures that give the yoghurt its fresh, tangy flavour and not the cow’s milk (or the nut milk for that matter), we aren’t ones to argue.

In future, we might try to change this, but for now, we’re just going to concentrate on making delicious products, whatever you want to call them.


Responsible entrepreneurship

We believe that responsible entrepreneurship shouldn’t be a medal to wear or something to brag about. It should be the standard, not the exception.

At Abbot Kinney’s, we consider the consequences of our decisions at every point in the production process of our products. And we’ll keep doing so, no matter how fast or big we grow.

How sustainable is coconut?

Coconut palms are a good source of income in Sri Lanka. The quality is excellent and there is a lot of demand, which is positive for Vietnamese growers. Many people from Sri Lanka can make a living off growing and selling coconuts and do things like send their children to school with the money they make. Everybody there seems aware of what valuable possessions the trees are so they are making a big deal of maintaining sustainable cultivation.

The great news is that cultivating coconut trees is easy. They don’t require artificial fertilisers or pesticides, nor do they need any extra watering. What’s more, the roots of the trees help combat soil erosion on the coast. So cultivating coconuts is good for the planet too.

In terms of wastage, there isn’t any as every single part of the coconut gets used. The hairs on the coconut shells are strong and resilient, making them perfect for brooms and doormats whilst the empty shells are used for making furniture or potting soil for your garden. The shells can even be burnt and used as a fuel.

How sustainable is your packaging?

The paper in our packaging is made from recycled cardboard. Recycling paper is something we’re quite good at in the Netherlands as 85% of the used paper and cardboard is collected and recycled here.

Our plastic cups are made from PP a.k.a polypropylene. This is a firm, food-safe and easily recyclable type of packaging. We are working on a cup that is made entirely or partially from recycled PP or PCR plastic. You’ll be the first to find out, once we’ve cracked it.

At present, the Coco Start seal is made from aluminium foil. The downside to aluminium foil is that it requires a lot of energy to make, which is why we’re looking for an alternative. Luckily, aluminium is easily recycled, so please make sure to recycle it once you’re done.

We’d love to hear from you!

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