I scream, you scream, we scream for certified vegan ice cream! This February, Ben & Jerry's introduced its first line of vegan ice cream. These non-dairy creations are made with almond milk and coconut-oil, and as of now there are four flavours: P.B. & Cookies, Coffee Caramel Fudge, Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Green Common is proud to stock them all in both Central and Wan Chai shops.
The flavours have been positively reviewed by the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail, and have been described as "creamy", "decadent" , "flavourful" and "nearly indistinguishable from its dairy doppelganger".
In addition to being Certified Vegan (and certifiably delicious), the ingredients used in Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavours are GMO free and Fair Trade. The company, who stands firmly by their credo of using ethically sourced and organic ingredients, proudly explains the motives behind their vegan line in their website, "We asked you. Lots of you. Some of you are committed to a vegan lifestyle, while others can't or would rather not eat dairy. And all of you are missing the indulgent frozen delights you once enjoyed. We knew that with some hard work and experimentation we could deliver the taste and creamy texture you've been craving. So we did."
The "lots of you" in the company's statement most likely refers to the 28,000 signatures of a 2014 Change.org petition, initiated by Jenny Foy and Doug Reed. Urging Ben & Jerry's to "lead the way and make non-dairy ice cream a mainstream choice, like Meatless Mondays", and to "explore these [non dairy] options seriously", the petition successfully highlighted the increasing consumer demand for non-dairy milk.
Kirsten Schimoler, the principal food scientist at Ben & Jerry’s, acknowledges this, “We saw growth and demand for alternative milks, and we were up for the challenge.” According to Euromonitor, worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015 to $21bn. The many health and environmental benefits of plant-based milks, coupled with its convenience and long shelf life, have led to the sharp decline in demand for cow's milk. Per capita consumption of milk has dropped 13 per cent in the US over the past five years, while in Europe it has fallen 4.1 per cent, according to the Financial Times. If this is not testament enough to the popularity of non-dairy milk, sales of non-dairy ice cream in the US leapt 44 per cent in the 12 months to the end of May, according to market research group Nielsen, while dairy ice cream sales rose 3 per cent only.
By appealing to the evolving 21st century consumer lifestyle, which places emphasis on convenience and sustainability, companies like Ben & Jerry's are taking a step in the right direction!
Green Common Shops:
Central: Shop 1, 1/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road
Wan Chai: G/F, 222 Queen's Road East