A few days ago, I received a product called the Probiotic Maker. I’ve wanted to try this product since seeing it on Shark Tank a few years ago, but it seemed a bit expensive at $100. So, I emailed the founder and asked for the product in exchange for a review.
It is basically a heating pad that you put on a jug of milk for 8-10 hours, turning a gallon of milk into a delicious yogurt drink. You add a small packet of starter culture to the milk, then let it sit on your counter with the heating pad. Eight hours later, you’ve got a delicious yogurt drink.
When I first saw this product on Shark Tank I thought it was genius. One of the things I liked about it was you make the yogurt drink right in the container it comes in. You don’t have to do any dishes. I’ve tried yogurt makers in the past, but the yogurt didn’t taste that great, and I didn’t get very much of it.
The yogurt that it makes tastes really good. My kids even liked it (after I added a bit of honey). The yogurt it makes is not as thick as store-bought yogurt because it doesn’t contain any artificial thickeners. The longer you ferment the milk, the thicker it gets. I fermented mine for around 9.5 hours. It is pourable and drinkable. I prefer drinking it as I would Kefir.
It doesn’t have the effervescence of Kefir, but it is just as tasty. I used whole milk. It tasted silky smooth with a hint of tartness.
See my video review below:
Check out the humorous analysis of the product pitch on Shark Tank below.
My Analysis of the Product
So I think the product is a great idea. And now that I have tried it, I can see the value in it. But, before I tried it, I had a hard time believing that it was worth $100 for a heating pad. Now that I’ve tried the delicious yogurt drink, I can understand how it is worth $100. Yogurt is expensive. This thing helps you make a gallon of it in a short time.
Still, I wonder if they’d have a lot more success if the maker was closer to the price of other yogurt makers, somewhere in the $30-60 range.
The marketing for the product also seems a bit off. Why is it called a probiotic maker? No one is trying to make probiotics. People want to make yogurt or kefir. The product name should have something to do with what you are eating, not the mysterious byproduct in the drink.
A lot of the copy on their website focuses on saving the planet and giving people good jobs. I think the secret to selling is to focus on the benefits to the customer, not abstract concepts.
Other Ways to Make Yogurt at Home
I think the product is great. But now that I’m making yogurt on the counter at home, I’ve come across other ways to do it without a heating pad. It’s called viili yogurt. You buy a starter culture and ferment it at room temperature. I’ll give it a try and compare the results.
You can see how to do it in the video below.