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The dairy-free ice cream sector looks set to witness a lot of competition in 2022. In recent weeks, numerous new launches have been announced, alongside innovations within the field. Big brands and independent startups alike are vying for market share. Tapping into unique markets is seemingly on the rise as well, with new bases and styles now on offer.
Once a playground dominated by soy and coconut milk-based frozen desserts, the dairy-free ice cream landscape is changing dynamically, with other bases from oat to cashew to avocado proving worthy.
These are five stories to be aware of:
1. Magnum adds two new lines to plant-based range
U.S. consumers can add Magnum’s Hazlenut Crunch and mini’s selection box to their grocery orders. The Unilever-owned brand, synonymous with luxury frozen desserts, has added the two following demand for its original and almond vegan lines. The minis are a response to consumer feedback.
“We listened to Magnum ice cream fans who loved our award-winning non-dairy offerings and wanted to provide more indulgent options to choose from including the MINI bars and variety packs that are evolving into a popular snackable trend,” Nicole Towner, U.S. brand manager for Magnum said in a statement.
2. Cold Stone Creamery rolls out dairy-free ice cream
U.S. chain Cold Stone Creamery has unveiled its first-ever vegan ice cream. The flavor joins an existing roster of vegan-friendly sorbets. The Silk Chocolate Dessert is almond milk-based and can be served in a vegan sugar cone or a tub with add-ins. The recipe has been developed in partnership with Danone’s Silk brand and is available in all 931 locations.
“Cold Stone’s creativity and leadership in frozen desserts paired with our expertise in plant-based dairy alternatives and strong track record of delivering great taste and texture, is a powerful combination for bringing a delicious, plant-based dessert collaboration to frozen treat lovers across the country,” Derek Neeley, vice president of marketing for Silk said in a statement.
3. Breyers increases vegan ice cream range with two new flavours
Another Unilever brand, Breyers has doubled down on its vegan offerings with two new flavours. Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chocolate Chip join existing peanut butter and Oreo options to create a four-strong portfolio. The decision to manufacture exotic flavours, rather than base notes, is led by trend analysis. “Unilever’s ice cream portfolio includes iconic and beloved brands,” Russel Lilly, vice president of Unilever Ice Cream North America, said in a statement. “When creating new products, we look at key trends and what consumers want in their treats to ensure we’re creating innovative flavors and expanding the variety of product shapes and sizes that our fans will love.”
4. Wonderlab rolls vegan hemp gelato out to 400 locations
Last December, Wonderlab’s Doozy Pots announced that it had increased distribution channels. A U.S. family business, led by Kirsten Sutaria, Wonderlab was founded to create an entirely different approach to frozen vegan desserts. Gelato has a different mouthfeel to standard ice cream. Doozy Pots required a non-conventional base to achieve that experience.
“Using our versatile hemp and oat blend allows us to make a frozen dessert that is just sweet enough and reminiscent of old-world Italian gelato without the saturated fat from dairy or coconut,” Sutaria said in a statement. Initially launched in Cleveland, Wonderlab’s gelato can now be found coast to coast in Sprout’s Market and other chains.
5. Pink Albatross secures almost double its crowdfunding target
Spain’s Pink Albatross develops sustainable vegan ice cream. It proudly claims to make its products from ingredients you can draw, meaning no synthetic additions. Flavours are frequently unusual, but a new creamy formulation in 2020 paved the way for commercial success. Having already raised €850,000 in funding to launch, back in 2019, it recently closed an oversubscribed Crowdcube raise. Looking to secure €500,000, it garnered €907,989. Funding is needed for taking the brand into more international markets, alongside talent acquisition. Already present throughout Spain and Portugal, with the Philippines joining soon, plans for rapid global rollout are in development.
Lead image courtesy of Pink Albatross.