It’s happened again! Another ice cream company has released a vegan ice cream without telling anyone. Recently, lovers of dairy-free ice cream had a lot to rejoice about when Ben & Jerry’s, who previously had only four flavors in their line of almond milk ice cream, added two new flavors to their roster: Cherry Garcia and Coconut Seven Layer Bar. There was no PR release, no new additions to their website, and not even a social media announcement — they simply shipped ice cream to stores, kicked back, and waited for vegan ice cream lovers to do the talking. It looks like this is going to be a thing now because last night, word broke via social media that Breyers, a staple in the frozen dessert world, secretly released their very first vegan ice cream flavor! Their first choice for a non-dairy ice cream was cookies and cream. Like Ben & Jerry’s line of vegan ice cream, Breyers’ vegan ice cream is made from almond milk.
Breyers’ vegan ice cream was found by Indiana resident Alyssa Weiss at a grocery store in Chicago … fingers crossed that we can find it nationwide very soon.
Dairy consumption in the United States has been declining steadily by 25 percent per capita since the 1970s, so it makes complete sense that ice cream staples like Breyers would want to hop aboard the dairy-free train. In fact, a recent study by Packaged Foods revealed that “free from” frozen desserts, which includes vegan ice cream, are one of the products that are driving the U.S. ice cream industry towards a $28 billion market. And according to David Sprinkle, a researcher for Packaged Foods “Ice cream and frozen novelties remain among the top ten food categories in supermarkets. More than 85 percent of U.S. household use ice cream or sherbet.” So, smart move, Breyers.
Most of us have probably had a tub of Breyers ice cream in our freezer growing up so hopefully, now that a vegan version is available, longtime fans will be tempted by this new flavor (we certainly are). It is also interesting to note that Breyers, along with Ben & Jerry’s, are both owned by Unilever, the multinational company that attempted to sue Hampton Creek over the validity of calling their vegan mayonnaise, Just Mayo, “mayonnaise.” They dropped the suit and then released their own variety of vegan mayonnaise soon after. At the very least, they did not try to pull the same stunt with ice cream and other dairy products, like a handful of dairy supporters in the U.S. are attempting to do right now over the validity of non-dairy milk being called “milk.”
If this whole secretly-releasing-vegan-ice-cream-flavors thing is going to be a thing, then it is one that we will readily embrace with spoons in hand, a cozy couch, and a TV series queued up for binge-watching. A 1.5-quart carton of Breyers vegan ice cream retails for $4.99.
Lead image source: Alyssa Weiss