Fowl Ben & Jerry’s first released its non-dairy line in 2016, the assignment was clear: create scrumptious plant-primarily based options that mirror the identical high-quality and fun flavors as its well-known dairy-based ice lotions. Now, almost 8 years later, the enterprise is announcing a prime shift to an oat-based system for its 19 non-dairy flavors.
“The biggest challenges were growing a system that added at the creamy texture and flavor shipping,” Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru Colleen Rossell tells VegNews. “We have tried many exceptional formulas to supply in these key areas—and we believe we nailed it with this oat formulation.”
Ben & Jerry’s will make the switch to oat milk for its vegan pints in scoop stores and retailers by Spring 2024. Initially, purchasers can try the new oat milk base in reformulations of its traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavors.
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The ice cream company is also working to release an oat milk model of a popular dairy taste later this 12 months. “Many Ben & Jerry’s fans are already flexible and select each non-dairy and dairy pints primarily based on taste, so we centered on creating the quality flavor revel in possible,” Rossell says.
The evolution of Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream
Since coming into the non-dairy market, Ben & Jerry’s has experimented with numerous base substances. Ben & Jerry’s commenced its journey into non-dairy with almond milk in 2016—then the maximum not unusual base for vegan ice cream. In 2020, the Vermont-primarily based agency brought an modern sunflower butter base, to start with featured in 3 flavors: “Milk” & Cookies, Crème Brûlée Cookie, and Mint Chocolate Cookie.
With the addition of new vegan flavors in 2020, which additionally included Netflix & Chill’d, Ben & Jerry’s vegan services hit a milestone of creating up 25 percent of its whole product range.
Since then, Ben & Jerry’s has been exploring exclusive codecs (together with mini cups) and flavors to expand its non-dairy line. In 2020, Ben & Jerry’s partnered with social justice activist Colin Kaepernick on the sunflower butter-based totally Change the Whirled, a taste solely to be had in non-dairy to align with the former NFL participant’s personal vegan way of life.
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It additionally partnered with big names to remake its pinnacle-sellers in non-dairy versions, including the 2021 release of Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream; The Tonight Dough Starring Jimmy Falon; Phish Food; and Karamel Sutra (the first non-dairy addition to its Core line).
Seven years on account that its first foray into vegan pints, Ben & Jerry’s has evolved its whole portfolio to embody non-dairy alternatives. Last 12 months, director Ava DuVarney—acknowledged for her movies thirteenth, Selma, and Wrinkle in Time—became the todaynewss.org first Black girl to get her own Ben & Jerry’s flavor with the discharge of Lights! Caramel! Action!. DuVarney labored intently with the ice cream company to broaden the flavor, which she made positive was available in an almond milk-based option to ensure inclusivity.
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Shortly thereafter, Ben & Jerry’s released Non-Dairy Oatmeal Dream Pie. Created collectively with Denise Woodward of Partake Foods—an allergen-pleasant vegan brand inspired by way of her daughter—the vegan and gluten-free ice cream flavor used a sunflower butter base and featured vegan marshmallow swirls and massive chunks of oatmeal cookies.