History

Changing the world, one taste bud at a time

Our plant-based lineup may have changed since the early days (sorry, no more carob-maple-flavored soymilk!), but our commitment to making the world a healthier place has never wavered.

Our plant-based lineup may have changed since the early days (sorry, no more carob-maple-flavored soymilk!), but our commitment to making the world a healthier place has never wavered.

Once upon a tofu

Turn back the calendar a few decades to when our founder conceived the notion of starting a tofu company. Although soyfoods weren’t yet mainstream, we recognized early the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Now we just had to win over the rest of America!

 

Boulder, Colorado: Home to alternative thinkers

Even back then, Boulder proved the perfect springboard for colossal leaps in thinking. Our plans and enthusiasm caught the attention of a local investor who pitched in $2,000 of startup funding in 1977. We experimented with all plant-based foods: meatball sandwiches, sausage, burgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad dressings, mayonnaise, drinks, pies, cakes, muffins, granola, non-dairy ice cream, edible seeds and nut butters. And our big thinking was rewarded, as enthusiastic customers formed lines out the door waiting to snap up our delicious and innovative creations.

From scrappy startup to rising soy star

Over time, WhiteWave expanded from a tiny retail deli to a good-sized manufacturing facility. Our growth was characterized by plateaus and valleys marking the struggles of a small, undercapitalized business with a big idea—and an equally formidable learning curve.

Our big break came in 1978 when a supermarket chain signed on to carry our goods. Initially all things soy were parked in the produce section, where temperatures weren’t ideal. But before long, Silk soymilk—in plain, honey-sweetened and carob-maple flavors—migrated to the refrigerated case, right next to dairy milk.

Our move mainstream

Looking back, you could say that moving our soymilk to the dairy case changed everything. Cold and ready-to-drink in familiar, milk-style cartons, Silk was now easier to find (and easier to love) than ever. Refrigerated soymilk quickly caught the attention of open-minded mainstream shoppers, while still delighting the loyal “tofu and granola” crowd that gave us our start. As folks around the country discovered the great feeling that comes with eating right, Silk became America's #1 soymilk brand, welcomed in homes across the country.

Here’s to your good taste

The more we learned about the happy consequences of eating plant-based foods, the more passionate we became about creating new Silk products—and new Silk fans. We think of it as spreading the joy of Silk, one taste bud at a time. And as it turns out, America is just as excited about delicious plant-based foods as we are.

Today, our popular almond and coconutmilk stand side-by-side with our original soymilk, and a host of other delicious options—from juice blends to soy iced lattes to non-dairy yogurt alternatives—that all proudly carry the name Silk.

Whether you’re sold on Silk because of the benefits of plant-based nutrition or you just love the taste, our products still reflect the same Promise that got us started in the first place: Begin with plant-based ingredients that are grown responsibly, and keep them as close to nature as we can.

Doing good is part of our nature

For us, good taste and good nutrition are just the start. We believe in being a good neighbor, too. So we’ve always supported folks who share our values and want to change the world for the better. As Silk has grown, so has our definition of neighborhood, expanding to touch the communities in which we do business and the environment we all share.

From our commitment to renewable energy and resource preservation to our passion for the Non-GMO movement, we recognize that every business decision we make has a significant impact on people and the planet.

So what’s next for Silk?

We think there’s no limit to the number of tasty plant-based foods we can dream up using a little Silk ingenuity and a lot of Mother Nature’s goodness. Who knows, maybe carob-maple flavor will make a retro comeback? You’ll have to wait and see. But we guarantee our creations will be true to our roots… and truly delicious.