In the increasingly rolling ice cream industry, the plant-based concept has finally become a “tuyere” of differentiated competition. Recently, oatly announced the launch of a variety of “wheat light snow series” oatmeal ice cream. When accepting the inquiry of snack generation today, oatly revealed that the sales volume of this series of stick ice cream has exceeded 200000 two weeks after it was launched in Shanghai community group purchase.
Some people “run forward”, others still watch carefully. Today, xiaoshidai learned that many well-known enterprises have not launched plant-based ice cream, including concerns about taste and so on. Next, let’s have a look.
“Open eating” plant-based ice cream
With the arrival of the peak season of ice cream this summer, the momentum of new plant-based products is more obvious than ever, and products with different raw materials such as oats, soybeans and coconuts also appear on the market. For example, oatly has launched a variety of flavors of oatmeal ice cream, focusing on oatmeal grain flavor, 0 lactose, 0 trans fatty acid and so on.
According to the company, its Mai Qingxue series has been listed as cup and stick ice cream. Among them, cup ice cream contains four flavors: raspberry, pistachio, passion fruit and original flavor, which have been put on shelves in tmall flagship stores and major supermarkets. Stick ice cream has three flavors: original flavor, latte and hazelnut.
In addition to the retail C-end, oatly ice cream is also laying out the catering b-end, and recently launched a new product of “love to eat ice” in cooperation with KFC, selling three flavors of oatmeal ice cream.
Interestingly, oatly didn’t forget to pull the coffee to help her out of the circle when selling ice cream. The company disclosed to the snack generation that in terms of the product idea of ice cream, oatly also hopes to provide a group solution, such as the combination of ice cream and coffee liquid recently launched in Shanghai community group purchase. In addition, oatly is also exploring more possibilities, such as more suitable for b-end catering barreled oatmeal ice cream. In fact, this wave is also the latest attempt of oatly overweight plant-based ice cream. Xiaoshidai learned that oatly had previously tested the water of oat based ice cream, and “wheat light snow” was the new series launched for the first time this year. “Oatly hopes to provide more choices for consumers who like ice cream and pursue health. Whether it’s home life, work gap or daily leisure.” “We think the ice cream market is very large and has a high degree of fit with oat base, so there will be a series of measures in the future,” the company said
Unilever is also eating plant-based ice cream. Xiaoshidai noted that this year, the world’s largest ice cream maker launched “mini keaido planting enjoyment” in China, which is said to be “keaido’s first soybean protein ice cream cone”. It is reported that “mini adorable multi plant enjoyment” focuses on soft and smooth taste. At present, four flavors have been launched, including two “classic flavors” of sea salt coconut and sea salt caramel. As far as the selling price is concerned, the average price of “mini adorable” is slightly higher than that of ordinary Mini adorable.
In addition to these “big factories”, there are also local start-up brands of plant-based ice cream, such as Qingshi. At present, the brand has launched a variety of plant-based products in e-commerce, and the two snow slurries with the first sales volume in Taobao store are made of coconut milk.
Taste problem to be solved
Compared with ordinary ice cream, one of the biggest features of plant-based ice cream is that it does not contain animal milk. Therefore, it can be sold to lactose intolerant and vegetarian groups. However, nowadays, most products are not limited to meeting specific dietary needs, but similar to plant meat. We hope to open the mass market with the brand of health concept. According to the 2021 China ice cream report obtained by xiaoshidai from yingminte, plant-based and healthy products can help the brand further expand its audience to healthy consumers. In its data on consumer interest, plant-based ice cream is the product with the highest willingness to try, followed by high protein ice cream and ice cream with Chinese therapeutic ingredients.
“This shows that healthy ice cream and plant-based ice cream (especially when presenting milk texture through dairy alternative raw materials) can more effectively attract new users for the brand.” The report pointed out (Note: according to the current national standard, ice cream and ice cream belong to frozen drinks, but there are differences in protein and fat content regulations. The above oatly and keaido products belong to ice cream). However, xiaoshidai learned today that there are still some large enterprises in China that have not set foot in plant-based ice cream, including Nestle, Yili and Guangming. Nestle China told xiaoshidai that plant-based ice cream mainly responds to consumers’ demand for health, but it may affect the taste and taste due to lack of milk fat. “For Nestle, the health and taste of products are equally important.” The company said that in addition to plant-based products, it hopes to meet consumer demand by subtracting products at this stage, and will continue to strengthen product innovation.
Guangming said that as the plant-based concept has been known to more consumers in the past two years, some brands have begun to try to make plant-based ice cream, but the general feedback is that the taste needs to be optimized. It also emphasizes that “taste” is still the core element driving consumers to choose ice cream. “This is also the place we will consider in the future. How to balance the composition, nutrition, taste and flavor.” Guangming said that in recent years, the healthy transformation of ice cream has become more and more obvious. As a new outlet of the food and beverage industry, plant-based will have a broad market space in the future. Yun Wuxin, a doctor of food engineering, also pointed out to xiaoshidai that due to the differences in flavor, taste and function between plant milk and animal milk, “it’s not easy to make plant-based ice cream delicious. It’s very technical”. It is worth noting that oatly and Unilever, which are overweight plant-based ice cream in China, actually have relatively rich category experience. “Oatly has been making oatmeal products abroad for more than 25 years. We have spent many years to improve the liquid oatmeal substrate so that it can become the basis of various product innovation.” Oatly told xiaoshidai today. Previously, oatly has also launched a variety of oatmeal ice cream abroad.
Unilever has more “ammunition”, and its goal is that about 20% of ice cream will be dairy free by 2030. Statistics show that Ben & Jerry’s, Monroe, coito and solero, the brands of the FMCG giant, have launched plant-based products and have developed a variety of products with plant protein raw materials, including almond milk, padanmu milk, soybean protein and pea protein. In 2012, the FMCG giant also acquired Swedish glacier, the main soybean based ice cream, which launched its first product in 1990.
Compared with foreign countries, domestic plant-based ice cream is still in its infancy. It was involved in the vortex of public opinion last year, and there is still much room for improvement in consumer cognition. For example, fat cream is likely to have no trans fatty acids. At present, it is difficult to determine whether this emerging category can become the “magic weapon” of the ice cream inner roll competition, but the answer may become clearer after brands find the “optimal solution” for taste.