KANSAS CITY – The dessert category appears to be facing as much disruption from plant-based innovation as the meat and fluid milk categories. Throughout the past year several companies introduced plant-based takes on traditional dairy-based desserts. And other companies stayed with a dairy base but attempted to differentiate by formulating products that attracted consumers by being keto-friendly, having low- or zero-sugar, or packed with protein.
The list of plant-based companies entering or adding to their presence in the dessert category is long. Oatly Group AB, Malmo, Sweden, introduced a line of non-dairy frozen dessert bars in North America in November. The new products were an addition to the company’s line of oat-based frozen dessert pints.
“We’re proving that oat milk is not just for coffee, cereal or cooking, but can also be the foundation for great-tasting treats to be enjoyed during celebration moments or when a pick-me-up reward is needed,” said Mike Messersmith, president of Oatly North America. “We are so proud of this product and are very excited to bring it to many frozen aisles across the country soon.”
Harmless Harvest, Oakland, Calif., a maker of organic coconut-based food and beverage products, introduced three desserts in December made with coconut meat.
“Expanding into the dessert category is a very exciting move for us, as we are confident our superior taste and ingredient standards will truly ‘hit different’ with both our existing customer base and new consumers alike,” said Jake Qian, director of innovation.
In May, Kind Healthy Snacks, New York, entered the ice cream category with the introduction of a plant-based variety. The non-dairy frozen desserts contain 4 to 6 grams of protein per serving and feature a base of pear juice, tapioca starch and/or syrup, coconut oil, sea salt, sugar, water, gum acacia, sea salt, soy lecithin, tara gum, guar gum and carob bean gum.
“We tried to think differently about what we would want in a frozen treat,” said Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of Kind. “We discovered what was missing was an offering that tasted delicious and delivered premium, plant-based ingredients that we can feel good about putting in our body.”