Newly launched alt dairy ice cream brand, Brave Robot has expanded rapidly across the U.S and under just seven months, is now available in 5,000 stores.
California-based fermentation dairy food tech Perfect Day-backed Urgent Company launched the new ice cream brand back in July of last year and in just seven months, Brave Robot has expanded quite quickly across the U.S to provide consumers with animal-free dairy ice cream.
The brand entered the market last year with regional distributors, collaborating with new retailers to offer consumers animal-free dairy ice cream that is kinder to the planet and claims to be similar to the taste and texture of traditional dairy ice cream.
The company utilizes non-animal whey protein developed by food tech partner Perfect Day that is molecularly similar to whey obtained from cow’s milk. The difference here is that the ice cream is created through the process of fermentation, using lesser land and water as well as producing a fraction of the greenhouse gas emission that traditional dairy does. As predicted by Green Queen founder & editor-in-chief in her 2021 Trends Report, precision fermentation is going to be a major area of growth in the alternative protein sector.
The opportunity to pioneer a new food category doesn’t happen too often, and now 5,000 retail stores are with us. It shows that this is what America has been urgently waiting for. No more eating plants for dessert, no more milk from factory farms needed. Dairy alternative ice creams always miss the mark on taste, and today’s consumer is hungry for better options. We see Brave Robot Ice Cream as an integral part of the solutionPaul Kollesoff, General Manager & Co-Founder of The Urgent Company
Paul Kollesoff, General Manager & Co-Founder of The Urgent Company mentioned that the partnership of 5,000 stores has given them an extra boost. “The opportunity to pioneer a new food category doesn’t happen too often, and now 5,000 retail stores are with us. It shows that this is what America has been urgently waiting for. No more eating plants for dessert, no more milk from factory farms needed. Dairy alternative ice creams always miss the mark on taste, and today’s consumer is hungry for better options. We see Brave Robot Ice Cream as an integral part of the solution.”
The demand for dairy-free alternatives has grown massively in recent years, and the sector has seen a major surge in recent months since the pandemic, with industry commentators talking about the huge blow to the dairy industry.
By Earth Day this year, (22 April), Brave Robot Ice Cream will have achieved a 1,500% increase from its fall 2020 debut, at a Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of US$5.99.
During the launch back in July of last year, co-founder and CEO Ryan Pandya of Perfect Day told Green Queen that “the vision for The Urgent Company is much bigger than just another food company. It represents a new approach to innovation that can bring today’s most exciting ingredients — Perfect Day’s and other’s — into products across the grocery store, starting with Brave Robot animal free ice cream.”
Kollesoff added that accessibility was a key component of the brand’s plan for this ice cream. “We want to democratize new dairy. Not only are we championing consumer activism with this science-forward, better-for-the-planet product, but we’re making sure it’s at a price point that that’s accessible for all.”
Apart from traditional grocers such as Kroger, Harris Teeter, Albertsons/Safeway, Stop & Shop, and Shoprite that are including animal-free dairy ice cream in their stores, natural food leaders like Sprouts, Harmons, New Seasons, Fresh Thyme and Earth Fare will feature Brave Robot on their shelves this spring.
Just recently, Perfect Day collaborated with Hong Kong’s Igloo Dessert Bar to launch Asia’s first-ever animal-free ice cream made with real dairy proteins, minus the cows. With Li Ka-shing’s tech venture capital firm Horizon Ventures, this partnership brand is called Ice Age!, and will offer Asian consumers a range of lactose-free, hormone-free, and vegan-friendly ice creams.
Further expanding their presence in Asia, Perfect Day will be opening its Singapore-based R&D centre this year, in partnership with the government-run Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to develop the food tech’s fermentation technology while the Singapore government will aim to establish its reputation as a food tech innovation hub.
Another Singapore-based vegan ice cream startup, Kind Kones, which is currently operating in Singapore and Malaysia, recently raised S$1 million (US$753,900) in its first external capital raise to expand its distribution network amid the growing demand for healthier dairy-free alternatives.
Lead image courtesy of Brave Robot.