It’s National frozen dessert Day. In recent years the meaning of frozen dessert has taken a turn, mirroring the changing eating preferences of USA citizens. consistent with Gallup, while just 5% of folks citizens are vegetarian or vegan, nearly 25% have crops on eating meat. What’s more, 41% of USA citizens have tried plant-based meats. And an estimated half of Americans buy dairy-free milk.
For this year’s National frozen dessert Day, grocery chains like Whole Foods are highlighting their dairy-free options alongside conventional choices, and for a reason. Plant-based ice creams are growing at 26.5% YoY while their dairy counterparts are growing at 1%, supported SPINS data.
The category is estimated to hit $1BN in sales by 2027. While that’s currently a sliver of the generally frozen dessert and frozen desserts market, mainstream brands are taking notice. Baskin Robbins launched oat-milk-based frozen dessert in the least of its locations in 2021. Unilever executive Matt Close reported an ‘explosion’ of non-dairy frozen dessert sales, but difficulty achieving the consistency of frozen dessert. there’s a flurry of R&D within the category by new entrants who are highlighting creative ingredients to realize the consistency of frozen dessert and its nostalgic flavors.
Registered dietician and authorized Holistic Health Coach Kailey Donewald noticed changing consumer preferences years ago. She started the dairy-free, Chicago-based frozen dessert company Sacred Serve in 2017 to bring a healthier alternative to the segment, starting with Whole Foods. Donald has been innovating on dairy-free flavors that raise childhood favorites like chocolate and mint chip but with a twist. Using organic young coconut Thai meat because the base, her recipes incorporate superfoods, adaptogenic herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and low-glycemic coconut sugar. as an example, Sacred Serve’s newest flavor, cookies, and cream have no ‘cookies’ or ‘cream’ on the ingredient list. Tigernuts and activated carbon are central to the recipe.
Donald explains, “Tigernut flour is that the star of our newest Cookies N Cream flavor. Tigernuts are incredibly unique as they’re not a nut in the least, but a vegetable. They contain important vitamins and minerals, are gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and full of prebiotic fiber that’s great for the gut. because of their natural sweetness, I knew they might be the right flour substitute for creating our cookies. activated carbon, a fine powder made up of coconut shells, maybe a known detoxifying agent wont to trap toxins and gas within the gut, preventing their absorption and helping your body eliminate them.
We found it lends itself to the right “oreo” taste. And a bit like that, Cookies N Cream — with none cookies or cream — was born.” Taking another approach to ingredients, Brave Robot makes a dairy-free frozen dessert from whey protein to mimic the creaminess of traditional frozen dessert, leading to a lactose-free, vegan product. consistent with The Spoon, the corporate, “makes its dairy by genetically modifying microflora to supply the 2 main proteins in milk: casein and whey. They combine the dried proteins with plant fats, water, vitamins, and minerals to form a lactose-free product that has equivalent properties — taste, consistency, and nutritional breakdown — of milk.”
Both companies have a robust specialize in sustainability in their ingredients supply chain. Sacred Serve was the primary to realize a 100% recyclable, plastic-free packaging, a feat that giants like Unilever haven’t yet reached. Oat-based milk company Oatly’s $10BN IPO hit earlier this year, following on plant-based meat giant Beyond Meat’s 2019 IPO. On the M&A front, earlier this year Human Co announced a majority stake in Coconut Bliss — a dairy-free frozen dessert company — with undisclosed terms. And in March of 2021, plant-based egg company Eat Just landed $200 million during a round led by the Qatar Investment Authority.
Analysts at Pitchbook News are watching the plant-based alternative food category, calling it both `pandemic and recession-proof.’ Food-tech startups had raised nearly $16 billion in Q1 2021, nearly surpassing the entire amount raised in 2020. Donewald isn’t surprised. She concluded, “Now quite ever before consumers are watching products through the lens of health and wellness, especially post-pandemic. Plant-based has garnered tons of attention for being better for you and better for the environment, so more consumers are looking to form the switch.”