Vegan ice cream is making its move in the marketplace, and it’s doing so surprisingly well. 

The frozen dessert aisles of grocery stores are quickly becoming filled with more and more dairy-free alternatives, and vegan ice cream leads the way. Vegan products are no longer just attractive for vegans; the plant-based movement brings attention to these sweet (dairy-free) treats from all consumers. 

Vegan ice cream may even have a trend of its own—never say never. Recent articles from Vogue and Women’s Health validate this trend with their talk about “innovative” ice cream and “vegan ice creams that will make you forget all about dairy” (respectively). 

Even COVID-19 hasn’t been able to get in the way of the rise of dairy-free alternatives. As of October 2020, oat milk was one of the top five products that experienced the most significant dollar sales increase (212%) over the previous 31 weeks. The numbers tell us that consumers are shifting towards plant-based alternatives, and the numbers don’t lie. 

So, since we’re all going to be getting a little more familiar with vegan ice cream, we thought we’d make this article and go over the full scoop of everything you need to know about it. A crash course on vegan ice cream, coming right up. 

Increase In Dairy-Free Demand

There’s no denying the recent increase in demand for plant-based alternatives. The market is seeing the shift from animal products, specifically dairy and beef, toward more sustainable substitutes. 

As of 2019, the U.S. dairy farming industry reported its largest decline (over 50%) in more than 15 years. Industry experts predict a further decrease in demand for dairy, of 90%, by 2030. Looking at this from the other side, the global dairy-free ice cream market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of almost 15% between 2019 and 2025. 

A few different elements are driving this movement toward dairy-free alternatives; heightened awareness around the health implications of dairy, lactose-intolerance among consumers, and a focus on environmental impact are the most common reasons people are making the switch. 

One argument that has been receiving attention recently is that humans are not intended to consume dairy. The statement follows the claims that dairy products commonly lead to poor skin conditions, difficulties with digestion, and general “sluggish” feelings brought on after consumption. Of course, there are pros and cons to any food (group). 

Lactose intolerance is also present in about 30 million Americans. Symptoms such as bloating, gas, and cramps are encouraging factors pushing consumers to experiment with different dairy-free alternatives. While people with lactose intolerance used to turn to lactose-free products, the rise of vegan substitutes has provided more options that satisfy the same needs while also offering new benefits. 

Following a vegan diet may also be the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact. Study after study reveals just how much of an effect animal-based products are having on our planet. The University of Oxford has produced research finding that by cutting out meat and dairy products from our diet, an individual can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 73%. Choosing plant-based products support a healthier, more sustainable climate. 

History of Vegan Ice Cream

So, uhh, whose idea was this exactly?

As far as we can tell, the first record of vegan ice cream is from 1899 in a vegetarian cookbook by Almeda Lambert. Her recipe consisted of nut cream, sugar, vanilla, which was cooked together before being frozen. 

The next exploration into vegan ice cream came a little later, in the 1950s. This time it was being made with soy milk, which was beginning to become more mainstream after an earlier 1918 scholarly article introduced soy as “human food” instead of just being for animals. 

Over the next decades, more dairy-free ice creams were coming to market. By 2005, So Delicious Dairy Free ice cream was the dominant brand for this still niche market, and it was starting to create more buzz in the marketplace. Skip forward a few years, and here we are! With options left, right, and center, we’re the luckiest generation yet in terms of the dairy-free options we have available. 

Is Vegan Ice Cream Healthier?

This depends on how you measure health. 

There’s the element of dairy vs. no dairy. There are arguments both for and against dairy products, each claiming different health benefits. If you’re lactose-intolerant, vegan ice cream is definitely the healthier choice. For someone who isn’t lactose intolerant, it would come down to considering the other side effects of dairy, or lack thereof. 

If nutritional content, specifically calories, is what determines “health,” then it still really depends on the specific ice cream. Some vegan ice creams, such as sorbet, are significantly lower in calories and fat. Other vegan ice creams can be on par with regular dairy ice cream, containing just as much and sometimes more calories and fat. 

It comes down to reading the labels. It’s always good practice to choose products that have shorter ingredient lists with ingredients that are recognizable. In terms of nutritional content, remember that ice cream is supposed to be a treat—everything in moderation, right? Right. 

Making Your Own Vegan Ice Cream

Making your own vegan ice cream is easier than you may think! Many recipes use only a handful of products and are simple to make.

The biggest variable with vegan ice cream recipes will be the type of milk used. 

Almond milk. Almond milk is one of the most popular dairy-free kinds of milk, probably for its simplicity and versatility. The content of almond milk is mostly water, making it much healthier than dairy milk options, but this also means less creaminess for ice cream. Using an almond creamer may seem like the perfect alternative, but most creamers on the market contain thickeners, flavorings, and other artificial additives.

Soy milk. Soy-based ice cream had its 15 seconds of fame in the ’80s, but many recipes and brands still use soy milk as a base in today’s products. Using soy milk will create an ice cream that is creamier than if you used almond milk, and it will also likely add in a few grams of protein. The selling points for using soy milk would come from the additional vitamins and minerals that soy milk usually contains and the higher fat content, which creates a thicker, more ice cream-like consistency. 

Coconut milk. Coconut milk, especially full-fat coconut milk, contains a high amount of saturated fat. This high-fat content makes coconut milk a calorie-rich food, making for some of the creamiest ice creams. If you’re trying to make coconut milk ice cream yourself, though, read your recipe carefully—canned coconut milk and coconut milk beverages and not the same thing. 

Cashew milk. Cashew milk is another great option for vegan ice cream because of its higher fat content. Cashew milk is also relatively neutral in flavor, making it a perfect base for any ice cream creation. Cashew cream is a similar ingredient that is sometimes used, which definitely helps put some extra “chew” in the final product. 

Recipes from the Internet most often use an ice cream maker, but don’t be tricked into a purchase quite yet—there are recipes that don’t require a new piece of machinery in the house. You just have to dig a little deeper for them. 

Our Vegan Ice Cream

Our vegan ice cream came to life from our love for the planet and our love for creating new, tasty plant-based products in the kitchen. 

Our collection of premium plant-based ice creams are all chef-crafted and 100% delicious. We have our signature flavors, Cookie ButterVanilla, and Chocolate, and our unique Chef Collaboration collection featuring specialty flavors. Figgin’ Delicious, Mango Coconut Sticky Rice, and Raspberry & Sumac are just a few of our mouth-watering specialty pints that almost sound too good to be true. 

The best part? Our ice creams are more than just a tasty treat. In a way, our ice cream is helping save the planet. The global food system is flawed, and our planet is paying the price. We’re trying to help create a more sustainable, responsible, and humane food system. 

Choosing vegan ice cream over dairy ice cream is an example of small changes that we can make in our day to day lives to help do our part. Our job? Create incredibly delicious products. Your job? Enjoy our sweet treats as you help save the world. 

Vegan Ice Cream 101

And that’s the scoop! Vegan ice cream 101. It really is a craft, isn’t it? 

It’s our craft, our specialty, our passion. From us to you, we hope you enjoy it. 


Dairy-Free Ice Cream Market Size & Share | Industry Report … › Consumer F&B