Ben & Jerry's vegan entrance pushes into trends
- Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s announced a line of four non-dairy, almond milk-based, certified vegan varieties of frozen desserts. The company spent three years developing the flavors to create the same signatures found in its traditional products.
- It took more than 50 versions of testing to find the almond-milk base that serves as the base for the frozen dessert. Versions were either too firm they wouldn’t scoop or they were too thick to freeze or pump.
- The new varieties include P.B. & Cookies, Coffee Caramel Fudge, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Chunky Monkey.
Almond milk gave Ben & Jerry’s with a "blank canvas" to ensure the ingredients, flavors, and chunks and swirls provided the experience the company’s products are known for.
USA TODAY pointed to a 2015 Vegetarian Resource Group poll that found of the 3.4% of vegetarian American adults, almost 15% are vegan. Vegan products also appeal to lactose-intolerant consumers and those who avoid dairy for other purposes, Charles Stahler, co-director of the Vegetarian Resource Group, told USA TODAY.
Healthy perception of products also plays a key role today. Approximately 84% of American consumers of free-from products, like allergen-free or trans fat-free, cited believing the products to be more natural or less processed as reasons for purchase.