- Halo Top Creamery is introducing a new line of low-calorie ice cream flavors that are both non-dairy and vegan-friendly, according to Food Bev Media. They will be available in the U.S. starting in mid-October.
- The new desserts, which are made with coconut milk, will come in seven flavors: peanut butter cup, chocolate, oatmeal cookie, sea salt caramel, caramel macchiato, cinnamon roll and chocolate-covered banana.
- “The number one request that we get from our fans is to make a non-dairy and vegan-friendly version of Halo Top,” said Justin Woolverton, founder of Halo Top, told Food Bev. “It took a long time to get it right, but we’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome and can’t wait for our fans to try these flavors."
First, Halo Top took the title of #1 selling pint of ice cream in the U.S., beating out iconic brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Breyers. Now, they’re going after consumers who don't want dairy or eggs.
Founded in 2012, Halo Top made a name for itself as a low-calorie, high-protein and low-sugar treat. The company sold more than 17 million pints in 2016, a 2,500% increase in sales.
According to Mintel, U.S. non-dairy milk sales grew 9% in 2015, while dairy milk sales declined 7% over the same period. It’s a smart move for Halo Top to modify its recipe to give shoppers who are swapping dairy milk for something plant-based an ice cream alternative. There is every reason to believe that the nation’s adoration for plant-based milk will carry over to other sections of the dairy aisle.
Halo Top is not alone is branching out with a non-dairy ice cream. Both Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s and General Mills’ Haagen-Dazs have launched vegan-friendly versions of their popular lines of ice cream.
Dairy-free alternatives to traditional dairy products are a growing sector in the food industry. Plant-based milk is already enjoying soaring success, and now consumers are looking for dairy-free versions of products like cheese and yogurt. It's bad news for dairy farmers, but good news for consumers who want more flavorful vegan products.
In the past, vegan dairy products have been reserved for those who can’t digest milk and die-hard vegans who would suffer through rubbery "cheese" slices for ethical or nutritional ideals. Now, Daiya Foods has a meltable 100% plant-based cheese. The company has branched out to frozen pizzas, Cheezy Mac, Cheezecakes, a Greek yogurt alternative and Blue Cheeze Dressings. Kite Hill also has come a long way in improving non-dairy alternatives, with its lines of cream cheese, artisanal cheeses and yogurts. As vegan dairy products continue to improve their flavor, viscosity and mouthfeel, expect more dairy-tolerant consumers to give them a try.
Retailers will likely jump at the chance to carry the new dairy-free line up from Halo Top. Moving forward, supermarkets would be prudent to open up valuable shelf space in the refrigerated dairy sections for more vegan options. If plant-based milk is any indicator, consumers will want to at least take a taste.