Brands We Love: Nancy's Yogurt
By Meghan McGuire
When I see Nancy’s Yogurt handily stocked in the refrigerated section of my local market, I get that (cool) fuzzy feeling. When I was a small child, Nancy’s was a regular in my parent’s fridge. An increased interest in health in my 30s earned Nancy’s a front row spot in my own. It’s a brand I know and trust, and I am truly a loyal customer.
So I ask myself; why? When I see the logo on other products in the case, why do I just assume that is the best cream cheese or kefir? How did Nancy’s earn such a trusting relationship with their customers?
In 1960 newlyweds Chuck and Sue Kesey bought a small creamery in Springfield, Oregon. After coming to the area to take a gig working for the legendary counterculture leader and author Ken Kesey, who is Chuck’s brother, Nancy Van Brasch Hamren heard about a bookkeeping job at the creamery and applied. When she got the job, organized logs were not her only contribution. Nancy had grown up making yogurt with her grandmother, and just as live cultures were emerging as a health benefit, Nancy helped Chuck to start experimenting with acidophilus and voila! In 1970 Nancy’s Yogurt was born, the first yogurt in the US to contain live probiotics.
As you can see, not only is their yogurt full of unique flavor, so is the company. In 2010 they celebrated 50 years in business and now in 2017 the Nancy’s brand is stronger than ever. And BIGGER than ever! The Kesey family has grown exponentially and many of it’s members are still working hard at the creamery. To this day, when determining if the yogurt has finished processing, Nancy’s doesn’t use pH meters. No, the original “Yogurt Man” Chuck still tastes every batch to determine when it is finished and ready to cool. I believe herein is the secret to this company’s great success; authenticity.
Here is a group of people with a real interest in health and natural foods, who had a dream to do something different and saw it out. For almost 60 years there has been a real Nancy. And a real Chuck and Sue, and now their kids and grandchildren are there working hard to create a product that people like me depend on. Over the years Nancy’s has been a big contributor to the Springfield and Eugene communities; their website states “we have been good to the community and it has been good to us.” The company uses solar power and is conscious about sustainability. And I believe them and trust them. I will even venture to say, I love them. I believe even a first-timer would recognize that the Nancy’s brand is apparent and true. “Nancy’s” is a company that makes yogurt I like, made up of people I like. Within this yogurt, there is a lesson for all of us.
When striving for health. When developing your own brand. When dreaming your big dream. When meeting movers and shakers. You will succeed by being you.
What’s your favorite brand, and why? Is it the perfect combination of delicious and nutritious? When you see it on the shelves, does a warm feeling of trust overwhelm you? Think back to when you became a loyal customer. What prompted you to pick it up the first time?