Nomadic is set to launch a yoghurt range that will offer unusual tastes and textures from around the world. After all, “we are all living nomadic lives”

On the face of it, Ireland and the Middle East don’t appear to have a great deal in common. The one passion that they do share is a love of great dairy products, so when Alan Cunningham – general manager at Ireland-based Different Dairy – met Nir Sapir – MD of ethnic dairy brand BioGreen Dairy – through mutual friends, they got on so well on a personal level that they wondered whether there was the possibility to do something bigger than the sum of their two halves on a professional basis.

After four years spent cultivating their relationship, this month they announced the creation of Nomadic – a dairy company that takes the best of what both parties bring to the table, to provide an assortment of yoghurts from around the world. The new products will be an addition to the ones already sold under Different Dairy’s Rumblers yoghurt brand, which will appear under the new Nomadic branding from this month.

Cunningham says as soon as the Nomadic brand name was put on the table it resonated with the duo. “It felt true to us and to our own history, culture and backgrounds. It also felt very sensitive to the modern consumer and the amount of effort they’re putting into convenience and food to go. We are all living – by definition – much more nomadic lives.”

This is reflected in the portfolio. So alongside existing Rumblers pots and new Mediterranean pots made from Irish cows milk, featuring flavour combinations such as fig and honey (rsp: £1.29/175ml), Nomadic is also launching a mango lassi (rsp: £1.55/330ml) and two savoury dairy products with a Middle Eastern vibe – Ayran (rsp: £1/330ml), a salty yoghurt drink, and Labneh (rsp: £2/350g), a strained yoghurt.

Sapir describes Ayran as exotic but friendly. “It’s an acquired taste, but it’s very natural and refreshing.” As for Labneh, he admits the savoury version, traditionally eaten with pitta, is “hardcore Middle Eastern,” but the company’s interpretation of it with a sweet base could work with fruit.

The products have been priced to reflect their handcrafted nature, but at the same time to not put consumers off trialling some of the more unusual flavours, says Sapir. “We want it to be affordable and we want people to access it.”

“The name Nomadic felt very sensitive to the modern customer and the effort they’re putting into convenience and food to go”

Although the rebranded Rumblers pots are due to hit shelves in mid-September, the new products won’t be available until some time in October, with Cunningham saying that conversations with retailers about the new merged entity and its line-up have gone well. “I was reasonably nervous a few weeks ago, but we’ve had a great reception from the industry. They love the brand and the design and they’ve told us we’ve got it absolutely spot on and that this is the right time for this type of product range. We now need to see this materialise into physical listings.”

He sees the brand’s current situation as similar to that of the cheese category a decade or so ago. “Then it was pretty much Cheddar, Red Leicester, Edam and maybe a little bit of Brie, but today there’s a real mix of flavours and textures. Some flavours and textures that we’re looking to bring to the yoghurt fixture are going to be a little bit different.”

As happened with cheese, Nomadic’s co-founders are banking on UK consumers’ willingness to give new products a try. Sapir is confident it will happen. “People think that the British nation is conservative, but they’re very open to trying new things, to give things a chance and not to judge.”

Judging by the feedback the brand has received to date, it appears Nomadic may soon find a permanent home on the shelves.