Big Scoop For Vegan Ice Cream: Plant-Based Ice Cream Innovation Doubles In Five Years

Thursday, August 6th, 2020 | 1424 Views

Consumers around the world are going wild for plant-based innovation and ice cream is no exception. According to the latest research from Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD), vegan ice cream accounts for an increasing proportion of global ice cream launches, making up seven percent of all launches in the last 12 months (2019/20), more than double the three percent five years ago (2015/16).

“The recent buzz around veganism has made its mark on the ice cream category. Interest in vegan ice cream isn’t restricted to those following a vegan diet. Learning from their dairy counterparts, plant-based ice creams are moving beyond the basic flavours to offer indulgent options. Texture is playing a prominent part in vegan new product development (NPD) with chunkier varieties on offer. Brands are demonstrating that vegan offerings can be premium with an array of luxury flavour combinations and packaging,” said Kate Vlietstra, Mintel Global Food & Drink Analyst.


Big in Japan: Japan scoops up number one position for ice cream NPD

From matcha to mayonnaise and seaweed to soybean, there seems no limit to Japanese ice cream innovation as Mintel reveals that Japan is now the world’s number one global ice cream innovator, commanding the highest share of ice cream launches.

Over the past five years, Japan’s ice cream innovation has gone from strength to strength. In 2015/16 Japan accounted for seven percent of launches globally, but since then its innovation has been coming thick and fast and Japan is now (2019/20) responsible for a cool one in ten product launches, overtaking the US to become the world leader in ice cream innovation.

“Quirky flavours and exciting formats are putting Japanese ice cream at the forefront of food innovation, while providing ample inspiration for ice cream launches outside of Japan. The growing popularity of Japanese cuisine paves the way for ice cream brands to utilise traditional Japanese flavours such as hojicha and yuzu,” said Vlietstra.


High added protein potential

Protein has gained importance with consumers; over the last five years, food and drink launches featuring high/added protein claims have doubled from two percent to four percent of total food and drink. Meanwhile, high/added protein ice cream claims have increased from under one percent of ice creams to over two percent in the last four years (2016/17 – 2019/20).

“With sustainability ever the topic of discussion, the ice cream category will need to demonstrate its ethical credentials to continue to win favour with consumers, and plant proteins can appeal due to their lower carbon footprint than dairy proteins,” concluded Vlietstra.


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