Kind is entering the plant-based ice cream space with the rollout of its Kind Frozen Pints.
The plant-based ice cream has 4 to 6 grams of protein per serving and is made using pear juice and almonds, then blended with ingredients such as sea salt, cherries or peanut butter. Kind's Frozen Pints will be sold nationwide in flavors including Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coffee Hazelnut, Caramel Almond Sea Salt, Strawberry and Pistachio.
- The frozen space is one of six new categories the 15-year-old Kind has entered into during the past year as it moves beyond its core bars to become a broader snacking company.
Kind's ice cream marks the latest foray into frozen foods for the popular bar maker. In March, the self-described healthy snacking company introduced Frozen Smoothie Bowls, a year after doing a wider rollout of its Frozen Bars.
The ice cream marks the latest development in a period of rapid expansion for Kind, which last year was purchased by Mars for an estimated price tag that valued it at more than $5 billion. Mars took a minority stake in Kind in 2017.
Since the beginning of 2020, Kind has moved into refrigerated, chocolate, energy bars and snack mixes. Sales have risen to more than $1.5 billion annually.
Kind, which has prioritized the use of plant-based, nutrient-dense ingredients in its foods, said the nondairy ice cream category is filled with offerings that often compromise on taste and achieve an indulgent product using unhealthy ingredients.
"We tried to think differently about what we would want in a frozen treat," Daniel Lubetzky, Kind's founder and executive chairman, said in an email. "We discovered what was missing was an offering that tasted delicious, and delivered premium, plant-based ingredients that we can feel good about putting in our body."
The move into the plant-based ice cream category will further increase Kind's footprint across the retail landscape. It also will place the snack maker into direct competition with big-name food companies and smaller startups that have their own offerings in the space.
Unilever's Ben & Jerry's has doubled-down on plant-based ice cream. Danone's So Delicious and Nestlé's Häagen-Dazs also have a presence in the frozen nondairy novelty space. Nick's, HumanCo, Eclipse Foods and NadaMoo are just a few of the smaller brands also making inroads in the category.
By expanding into plant-based ice cream, Kind is leaning into a market that is expected to grow at an annual rate of 14.8% to $1.2 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research.The Good Food Institute reported SPINScan data for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2020, that showed dollar sales for plant-based ice cream and frozen novelties rising 20% to $435 million.
"While this category is new for us, it’s consistent with how we’ve always entered new aisles — with an eye to elevate people’s overall experience," Lubetzky said.
John Olsen, Kind Frozen's brand manager, said in an email that it took the company a year to go from concept to distributing the product. He said Kind expects the plant-based ice cream to increase the occasions and times of day when its products are consumed beyond the nutrition bars frequently eaten on the go and in the morning.