Hemp-Based Vegan Gelato? Wonderlab Now At 400 U.S. Stores

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Wonderlab’s vegan gelato Doozy Pots can now be found in more than 400 stores across the U.S. It launched into Cleveland grocer Heinen’s in 2019. The expansion includes Sprout’s market, Erewhon, and Jimbo’s Naturally. 

Founded by food scientist Kirsten Sutaria, Wonderlab produces frozen desserts that are organic, fair and direct trade aligned, and regenerative. Sutaria used her experience as a “flavour guru” at Ben & Jerry’s (B&J’s) to launch her Doozy Pots. She led the vegan range development in her previous role and converted the B&J’s portfolio to non-GMO and Fair Trade.

Gelato of a different kind

Expansion into new stores is a coup for the family-owned Wonderlab. Developed to offer a different mouthfeel and flavour profile to standard plant-based ice creams, Doozy Pots uses hemp as a significant ingredient. No CBD or THC is present in the finished desserts. “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.

Ingredient suppliers are vetted for sustainable practices. The company only partners with those that can demonstrate organic and regenerative practices. “It’s important that our core ingredients are grown using practices that consider the health of the planet and the well-being of the people who grow them,” said co-founder Karl Sutaria. Similarly, cartons are made from post-consumer recycled materials totalling no less than 35 percent.

Cleveland shoppers have enjoyed Chocolate Mint Chip, Smooth Coffee, Chocolate Raspberry Swirl and Banana Cinnamon Date Swirl almost exclusively. Now, the vegan gelato can be found coast to coast. Buehler’s, Market District and Nature’s Oasis are listed as smaller distributors.

Cruelty-free freezers

Vegan-friendly ice creams and gelatos are proving popular. LA-based Brave Robot announced that it has sold one million pints of its products in just twelve months of operation. It cited the figure as an indicator that consumer tastes are changing, with people wanting “sustainable options that deliver on taste”. The ice cream range is powered by Perfect Day’s precision fermented whey proteins.

Ice Age has unveiled animal-free ice cream in Hong Kong. The first non-U.S. response to a growing market, it also uses Perfect Day proteins. Eight flavours of vegan-friendly ice cream have been developed. Also in Hong Kong, Green Monday has released a range of vegan ice creams in its Green Common café. The desserts are made from 100 percent plant-based milk, including coconut and cashew, which are freshly made on ice cream production days. Registered with the Vegan Society, two flavours are available; Matcha Purity and Chocolate Hearty.

Wonderlab is not the only gelato maker to be targeting plant-based eaters. Chicago startup Sacred Serve makes vegan desserts that are sold in 100 percent recyclable packaging. Plastic-free, the cartons are biodegradable and compostable. The company is known for its exotic gelato flavours which include Saffron Chair Spice, Matcha Mint Chip and Chaga Chocolate.

All images courtesy of Pexels.


  • Amy Buxton

    A long-term committed ethical vegan and formerly Green Queen's resident plant-based reporter, Amy juggles raising a family and maintaining her editorial career, while also campaigning for increased mental health awareness in the professional world. Known for her love of searing honesty, in addition to recipe developing, animal welfare and (often lacklustre) attempts at handicrafts, she’s hands-on and guided by her veganism in all aspects of life. She’s also extremely proud to be raising a next-generation vegan baby.

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