Review: Hälsa Organic Oatgurt
Covers Products: Blueberry Oatgurt, Mango Pear Oatgurt, Strawberry Oatgurt
Hälsa is a line of plant-based yogurt drinks made with a base of fermented organic whole grain oats. The product is available in three flavors at its launch and its clean label is one of its key selling points.
And this vegan product does he product does indeed have a very clean list of ingredients. In addition to the oats, it contains fruit, pea protein, organic flavors, and citric acid. It’s free of any stabilizers or gums, which are still quite commonplace in the dairy alternative space. But more importantly, it’s free from any added sugar -- definitely a marketable selling point.
Hälsa’s three initial flavors include Mango Pear, Strawberry, and Blueberry. The latter two are staples of the yogurt category and, therefore, might be the ones that have more appeal. The flavor of the products is not dissimilar to yogurt: slightly bitter, slightly tart, and pretty creamy in body. It’s less viscous than most real yogurt drinks that we’ve had, which isn’t a bad thing in our book.
The fruit flavors are well done, although we prefer the purer taste of the Blueberry and Strawberry varieties to that of the Mango and Pear (we could honestly do without the pear). It’s also nice to see that they could achieve the flavor that they did without adding any sugar.
Nutritionally, the products have 120-130 calories, 4.5g of protein, 18-19 g of sugar (from the fruit), and both probiotic and prebiotic content. These formulations are definitely in the right ballpark as far as the category is concerned.
Visually, the product, which is currently packaged in an 8 oz. opaque plastic bottle with a sleeve wrap, is headed in the right direction but feels rough around the edges. Specifically, there are some issues with the application of the label (especially the crinkled areas around the neck of the bottle) and we wish that the Hälsa popped out a bit more. Also, we wish that “oats” were a larger and more prominent part of the pitch (since their biggest competitor, Oatly, has this front and center).
Finally, we’d love this product’s story and reason for being to pop out a bit more than it currently does. The product’s Swedish roots, its points of differentiation, and ultimately something that says why you should drink this over the competition (which, again, to point to their main competitor, has some pretty slick branding) could all be communicated more prominently.
In the end, we definitely see some potential -- as well as immediate marketability -- for Hälsa. While there’s room for refinement, the product is both timely and enjoyable, which bodes well for their chances of establishing a foothold.