This week, the plant-based ice cream trend is taking the culinary world by storm, with several notable product launches and exciting developments. Leading the way is Oatly, the renowned plant-based brand, with their much-anticipated Vanilla Soft Serve ice cream. Aimed at UK food service providers, including well-known outlets and upcoming summer festivals, this delectable treat is set to revolutionize the ice cream scene.
The journey of Oatly's Vanilla Soft Serve began during the London Coffee Festival in April, where it was first previewed to eager attendees. Now, it is readily available to partners such as The Breakfast Club and the iconic Fortnum & Mason department store in Piccadilly. Building on this momentum, JENKI, a popular Matcha bar in London, plans to create a unique Matcha Soft Serve ice cream using Oatly's innovative product. Additionally, Neat Burger, a rapidly growing chain backed by prominent figures like Leonardo DiCaprio and Lewis Hamilton, will incorporate Oatly Soft Serve into their delightful soft serve shakes.
Joining the plant-based ice cream revolution is Lakeland Dairies, an Irish cooperative. They have recently launched a vanilla-flavored vegan ice cream mix under their Comelle brand. This creamy delight is crafted with coconut oil, pea protein, and rice protein, creating a smooth and luscious treat. Importantly, the Comelle mix is free of all 14 major food allergens, making it a versatile option for those with dietary restrictions. Not only can it be enjoyed as a soft serve, but it can also be used to create thick and indulgent shakes.
The third exciting product launch comes from Dairyland, a prominent player in the Kenyan ice cream market for over 25 years. Recognizing the increasing demand for vegan alternatives, Dairyland introduced a new range of vegan ice cream. To celebrate this milestone, they initiated a campaign called "The Dairy-Free Dream," inviting individuals with lactose intolerance to savor the treat they've been longing for. The vegan ice cream range is soy-based and features tantalizing flavors such as vanilla, strawberry, cappuccino, brownie, and hazelnut. By expanding their product line to cater to evolving consumer needs and values, Dairyland aligns itself with the global shift towards health, wellness, and environmental awareness.
These recent product launches highlight the growing popularity and demand for plant-based ice cream options. Consumers are increasingly seeking alternatives that align with their dietary preferences and values, and companies are responding with innovative and delicious offerings. Notably, the launch of plant-based ice cream in Kenya by Dairyland demonstrates the global nature of this movement.
In addition to satisfying consumer preferences, plant-based ice cream also offers potential solutions to food security issues in Africa. With a history of susceptibility to disruptions in food security, the continent can benefit from the development and adoption of plant-based alternatives. Organizations like ProVeg International are already working towards raising awareness and promoting the benefits of plant-based foods in Africa.
Looking at the broader market, a report published last year projected substantial growth in the vegan ice cream sector. Over the period 2022-2026, the market is expected to expand by $1.55 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.49%. This growth can be attributed to the increasing number of individuals embracing a vegan lifestyle, as well as the continuous introduction of new products, including those from private-label brands.
As plant-based ice cream gains popularity, it is evident that consumers are embracing these alternatives with open arms. With pioneering companies like Oatly, Lakeland Dairies, and Dairyland leading the charge, the future of plant-based ice cream looks incredibly promising. Whether it's the creamy goodness of Oatly's Vanilla Soft Serve, the allergy-friendly versatility of Lakeland Dairies' Comelle mix, or the dairy-free dreams brought to life by Dairyland's vegan range, there has never been a better time to explore the diverse and delectable world of plant-based ice cream.