Conagra Brands has introduced two new varieties of its Reddi-wip whipped topping — Non-Dairy Coconut and Non-Dairy Almond. Both products are dairy-free and plant-based.
The Chicago-based company said the new products contain 10 calories per serving and have no artificial flavors or preservatives. Retailers nationwide should have them on shelves this summer for a suggested retail price of $3.99 for a six-ounce can, the company said.
"We've seen tremendous growth in non-dairy, plant-based foods due to consumers' dietary restrictions and changing taste preferences," Ryan Clark, president of Conagra's Refrigerated and Frozen division, said in a statement. "This is an exciting innovation for Reddi-wip that addresses this broader consumer demand and the requests we've received from consumers asking us to bring a non-dairy variety to market."
With these two new Reddi-wip offerings, Conagra wants to address the growing consumer demand for more dairy-free alternatives. Most food manufacturers today are trying to respond to the market with on-trend products, and the food giant is no different.
While non-dairy Reddi-wip sounds novel, it isn't the only product in the space. Other non-dairy whipped toppings include So Delicious dairy-free CocoWhip, which is made with coconut milk; Trader Joe's Non-Dairy Coconut Whipped Topping with coconut cream; Whole Foods 365 Coconut Whipped Topping; and Soyatoo's Soy Whip and Rice Whip.
With such a wide variety of non-dairy topping options, it's apparent that growth in non-dairy foods and beverages is accelerating as consumers focus on health, lifestyle and sustainability. According to Euromonitor, global retail sales of plant-based dairy alternatives have achieved an 8% annual growth rate for the past 10 years, and plant-based beverages made up 12% of total fluid milk and alternative sales worldwide last year.
New products are being added to the fold as companies diversify, investing in, or acquiring plant-based startups. In 2017, Danone bought WhiteWave Foods and extended its portfolio into Silk and So Delicious non-dairy products. Milk processor and distributor Dean Foods bought a minority stake in Good Karma Foods last year and is considering increasing it since the flax seed beverage and yogurt maker saw its growth nearly triple from 2014 to 2017. Fora Foods will soon introduce a vegan butter product made from aquafaba, a liquid from cooked or canned chickpeas. The company also plans to debut non-dairy whipped cream, frostings and dressings.
Conagra has a good thing going with these two new plant-based and non-dairy versions of Reddi-wip. The products appeal to lactose-intolerant consumers and those trying to avoid all dairy products — plus others who are interested in the plant-based items. Almond and coconut, along with soy, are very popular flavors in all types of foods and beverages — and they dominate the plant-based beverage space — so leading with those two choices is a smart move on the company's part. They might also lure consumers who regularly eat dairy products.
This area of the plant-based segment appears to be relatively untapped since so much attention has been focused on dairy-free beverages, yogurt, kefir and similar products as alternatives to traditional dairy. But as food manufacturers continue to enter the better-for-you dessert segment, it's possible that more plant-based whipped toppings will appear to garnish those lower-fat brownies, lower-calorie ice creams and other healthier treats.