NuCulture brings delicious, cashew-based, cheese-like, non-dairy spreads to Natural Products Expo West

March 3, 2015
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Innovative plant-based cashew spread offers food lovers
superior taste, texture, and health benefits

THE DALLES, OREGON – It’s a delicious, dairy-free cheese-like spread that must be tasted to believe it’s not actually cheese. And attendees of the 2015 Natural Products Expo West will have that chance beginning this Friday, March 6, 2015, when NüCulture’s cultured cashew spreads will be available for sampling in the Team Oregon display. NüCulture spreads are delicious tasting, rich in texture, probiotic, soy-free, GMO-free, cholesterol-free, and gluten-free.

The company’s team, led by product developer and co-owner Jenny Hogan, will be sampling their entire product line of spreads, currently consisting of Garden Herb, Bacony Chipotle, and Pimento Paprika.

“We are really excited to bring a delicious, cashew-based spread to a food-loving and appreciating audience,” Hogan says. “NüCulture is our dream and our adventure. This is something that tastes really good and that you would use as any other spread, or like a cream cheese. The taste, texture, and health benefits are what sets it apart and makes it truly extraordinaire.”

Made in the Columbia River Gorge’s The Dalles, Oregon, NüCulture’s spreads are a culmination of Hogan’s lifelong passion for food, experience within the food development industry, and recognition of a need within the plant-based line of foods. Hogan, an Oregon State University graduate in Food Science, has worked in product development in the food industry for the past 25 years. She’s an award-winning developer, winning Best of Show and Best New Product at Vegan News/Expo West. She developed seitan jerky, seitan sausage and bacon for Sweet Earth Natural Products, and several products for Tofurky, including the popular and award-winning Tofurky Frank. Hogan worked at Fred Meyer Dairy, Columbia Gorge Organic Juice Plant, and Turtle Island Foods. She’s also owned her own consulting business, Taste Engineering, dedicated to helping companies develop and stabilize their products by improving shelf-life as well as taste and texture.

Immersed in the culture of food, Hogan strived to make her own diet largely plant-based, but she had a deep love of cheese. Influenced by the documentary Forks over Knives, as well as a vegan fusion course she took by Chef Mark Reinfeld, Jenny began a quest for something that could look, taste, and feel like cheese, but be plant-based. The end result has been the successful creation of NüCulture products.

The big idea hit once Hogan began incorporating cashews, because of their smooth texture, to make a cheese-like spread that could be taken to gatherings or simply eaten at home. Over her history of developing other meat-free products, she had learned methods of adding “umami,” which is considered to be the fifth primary taste beyond salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. It is the sense that offers a pleasant, savory taste that helps round out dishes and creates balance. Hogan also uses coconut oil that melts in the mouth and mimics how cheese feels on the tongue. When she shared her cashew dishes with her friends, she knew she was on to something good because they were amazed at both the flavor and texture.

Understanding the fundamental importance of probiotics in the diet, Jenny decided to culture with live active probiotics before blending and adding the various other ingredients. With that, she figured out how to create an innovative product that not only tastes great, but is healthy and affordable.

“NüCulture spreads taste legitimately great, and we’ve been getting this same feedback everywhere that we’re sampling,” Hogan says. “Everyone who has tried it has loved it – more than they like dairy products. And because it’s probiotic, dairy-free, doesn’t have soy, or GMOs, or cholesterol, or gluten, it’s a really healthy thing to eat and enjoy. That was one of our biggest goals from the very beginning was to make something that is as healthy as possible without sacrificing flavor.”

Where to find NüCulture spreads
So far, NüCulture spreads are available in 32 states, including Hawaii and Alaska, through Azure Standard distribution – it’s in the Azure Standard Spring 2015 catalog and online at In Oregon, customers can find the plant-based product in the dairy section at The Farm Stand and Rosauer’s in Hood River, and in White Salmon at Harvest Market Thriftway and Feast Deli and Market.

The NüCulture team
Hogan is joined on the NüCulture team by her husband Chip Hogan in product development and production. Chip’s background has been as an outdoor enthusiast and designer of outdoor goods. With a degree in Earth Science from Appalachian State and a minor in Outdoor Recreation Management, he has a passion for both understanding a sustainable environment and interacting with it in a positive way. Jaime LeClerc has a Pre-Medical degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Vermont. She has worked for Columbia Gorge Organic Juice and Produce in Hood River as Plant Manager, and in 2012 she became the manager of quality and development at Sweet Earth Natural Foods. David Ortman is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), specifically geared for the food industry. Daniel Ortman, a 20-year sales and business development professional, has more than 10 years of experience in the food industry. The NüCulture brand has been developed with the help of Studio Fuwafuwa.

NüCulture’s mission is to promote and inspire healthy living by creating and providing nutritious plant-based foods of uncompromising flavor in a manner that’s sustainable, ethical and supportive of individual, community and global health.

For more information, please contact: Jenny Hogan, NüCulture Foods, LLC, at jenny@Nü or (541) 806-8888.

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