Founded by Italian food scientists, Indonesian food tech company FairFlavor Foods has tapped into an underused food source. Using kenari nuts, which hail from one specific part of the Indonesian rainforest, the two have developed a gelato with their heritage in mind. Called ‘Nth Wonder’, the new gelato brand launch follows previous fermentation success.
Last year, FairFlavor said it had leveraged fermentation technology to develop dairy-free cheese, gelato and desserts using kenari nuts. At the time, the company was still in its infancy. Today, it announces the official debut of Nth Wonder with four gelato flavours.
Suitable for Nonnas
Often cited as the benchmark for vegan alternatives, Italian grandmothers were in the front of founders Gabriele Castagnetti and Marcello Giannuzzi’s minds when creating Nth Wonder.
“As food scientists, and as Italians, we thought we could develop a better product,” Giannuzzi, said in a statement. “We wanted to make cheese and gelato that our grandmothers would enjoy. As environmentalists, we knew we could do more: the existing dairy-free options on the market are usually made from almonds or cashews, which means industrial farming and tons of water. Our kenaris are grown in nature.”
The nuts are handpicked in the Indonesian rainforest to minimise impact. A gentle touch is essential as the nut-bearing trees act as carbon sequesters and contribute to the surrounding ecosystem. The biodiversity of the forest relies on the kenari nut trees. The nuts themselves are said to be high in protein and nutrients.
Giannuzzi told Green Queen that, at present, the ice cream market in Indonesia is predicted to reach $700 million by next year. That’s with a CAGR of 8.9 percent. Globally, the sector is valued at $60 billion.
A varied palate
Starting simply, Nth Wonder has focussed on recognisable gelato flavours. Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, of course and an Italian favourite too: pistachio. Multiple new flavours are slated for release later in the year. Tiramisu, salted caramel, and coffee have been teased.
Launched by self-desrcibed environmentalists, Nth Wonder is made using ingredients sourced locally from within Indonesia. Giannuzzi told Green Queen that so far the brand is only being distributed locally, with agreements in place with Tokopedia, Shopee, GoFood, Grab, LuxoFood and Hejo Fresh. In the near future, expansion into Southeast Asia will get the ball rolling for wider U.S. and European launches. These are planned as mid-term developments and will afford time to hone in on the right packaging solutions. “We use brown paper, our goal is to have packaging that is fully recyclable,” Giannuzzi revealed.
As a company, FairFlavor recognises the work done by big names such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. It cites them as helping lead a shift in consumer habits towards foods that offer lower environmental impact but still satisfying taste. FairFlavor, through the launch of Nth Wonder, is hoping to tap into this growing space.
Frozen desserts of every kind
Vegan ice cream is having a moment right now. Alongside new flavours being released by existing makers, such as Breyers, smaller startups are making their presence known.
In December last year, Texas-based NadaMoo! Closed a $10 million Series B round to expand product lines and distribution channels.
In the vegan gelato world, Wonderlab is making waves with its hemp-based ‘Doozy Pots’. The brand revealed presence in more than 400 locations across the U.S. It was founded by former Ben & Jerry’s “flavour guru” Kirsten Sutaria.
Also in the U.S., Chicago’s Sacred Serve is a female-founded operation that prides itself on 100 percent plastic-free packaging. The gelato is known for embracing unusually piquant flavours.
All photos by Nth Wonder.