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Wicked Kitchen has unveiled a range of plant-based ice creams and frozen novelties powered by lupini beans. The brand says it has used the protein powerhouse in a way that no other ice cream manufacturer has, to date. The result is ‘extraordinary creaminess’ and mouthfeel. The chef-founded brand is heralding the development as a significant step forward for vegan frozen desserts.
Ice cream pints have been released in four varieties: Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Cookie Dough. Alongside, novelty lines will include Chocolate & Almond Sticks, Berry White Sticks, and Chocolate & Red Berry Cones. All variations are being distributed through 2,200 Kroger stores and subsidiaries throughout the U.S.
Following the U.K’s lead
The U.K. was the first market to welcome the Wicked Kitchen ice cream range, through Tesco supermarkets. Priced significantly lower than competitor tangs, it caught the eye of shoppers and has enjoyed success. This led to the current U.S. rollout, where competition is set to be stiffer, with more brands in and entering the plant-based ice cream sector.
“The ultimate ice cream experience is luscious creaminess, rich mouthfeel, zero aftertaste, and bold flavor and the Wicked Kitchen plant-based ice creams and novelties are unlike anything else in the U.S. market,” Pete Speranza, CEO at Wicked Kitchen said in a statement. “It is impossible to contain our excitement about these new stellar treats because of their exceptional taste, texture, and dynamic flavors. These products are gamechangers and won’t be considered an alternative – just great tasting premium ice creams.”
Taking on the competition
The plant-based ice cream market is bursting with plant-based innovation right now. From Brave Robot’s Perfect Day-powered pints to Sunscoop’s allergy-free vegan offerings, a lot is happening. Derek Sarno, co-founder and chef at Wicked Kitchen isn’t worried.
“In true Wicked Kitchen style, we are launching a product that is unlike anything else that has come before it,” he said in a statement. “And because it’s so delicious and with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, it is revolutionizing the category, not only for non-dairy but in the overall ice cream and novelty category.”
Wicked’s ambitious growth plans
The new ice cream launch comes as part of Wicked’s overall growth strategy. The brand has announced that it intends to grow its product set by 50 percent, across a variety of categories. Kroger and Sprouts stores will represent the increase in choice through nationwide distribution.
Lupini bean-based ice cream looks set to be the tip of the frozen category expansion iceberg. Wicked has already revealed plans to launch three new pizza flavours and a selection of ready-to-heat entrees through Kroger, later this year.
In February, Wicked revealed its U.K. sales had doubled during the biggest Veganuary event to date. The news followed an announcement that the brand was making meaningful moves to expand internationally.
Already established in the U.K. and U.S. markets, it revealed it was moving further afield, into Estonia, Finland and soon after, Thailand. Northern European presence has been secured through a partnership with S Group, a Finnish grocer that has stocked Wicked in more than 200 locations. A launch into Thailand is anticipated to be completed by later summer, with a wider Asian rollout following soon after.
The company has floated a prediction of 300 percent sales growth on 2021’s figures, though Veganuary’s ‘novelty’ impact should be taken into account.
All photos by Wicked Kitchen.