This week, ice cream brand Breyers launched two new vegan flavors at retailers nationwide. Both made with almond milk, the new flavors are: Breyers Non-Dairy Mint Chocolate Chip made with a cool mint base with chunks of chocolate chips mixed throughout and Breyers Non-Dairy Chocolate Chocolate Chip which features a chocolate base swirled with chunks of crunchy chocolate chips. The new vegan flavors (priced at $3.99 per tub) are part of a larger launch of non-vegan ice cream products by Breyers’ parent company Unilever—which also owns ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, Talenti, Magnum, and many others.
“Unilever’s ice cream portfolio includes iconic and beloved brands. When creating new products, we look at key trends and what consumers want in their treats to ensure we’re creating innovative flavors and expanding the variety of product shapes and sizes that our fans will love,” Russel Lilly, Vice President of Unilever Ice Cream North America, said. “We are always looking to develop products that bring joy to ice cream fans everywhere and are excited to launch such a diverse range of new creations this year.”
Unilever’s vegan ice cream
In recent years, Unilever has added vegan ice cream flavors to many of its core brands. In 2017, Breyers released its first two vegan, almond milk-based flavors: Oreo Cookies & Cream and Vanilla Peanut Butter. That same year, Unilever launched its first vegan Talenti flavor (Peanut Butter Fudge Sorbetto) and expanded the brand’s vegan options to include Coconut Chocolate Cookies in 2020—Talenti’s first vegan addition to its Sorbetto Layers line. In 2019, Magnum added Non-Dairy Classic and Non-Dairy Almond vegan ice cream bar flavors and expanded its line to include a Non-Dairy Sea Salt Caramel flavor in 2020.
Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s brand has had the biggest vegan makeover in recent years. In 2016, Ben & Jerry’s debuted its first four vegan flavors (PB & Cookies, Coffee Caramel Fudge, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Chunky Monkey) and has expanded the line every year since. In 2019, Ben & Jerry’s expanded its vegan offerings outside of ice cream by launching snackable Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks—which are the same chunks that are used in Ben & Jerry’s vegan flavor Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough—and added Vegan Cinnamon Bun Cookie Dough Chunks for a limited time at participating scoop shops this summer.
In addition to using almond milk in its vegan ice cream formulations, in early 2020, Ben & Jerry’s began exploring a sunflower butter base with the launch of three vegan flavors: “Milk” & Cookies, Crème Brûlée Cookie, and Mint Chocolate Cookie. The brand’s most recent vegan launch (which is hitting shelves now) is sunflower butter-based Change the Whirled flavor made in partnership with football star and vegan racial justice advocate Colin Kaepernick. A portion of sales from the caramel-infused, fudge chip-dotted, and graham cracker-swirled flavor will benefit Know Your Rights Camp, a racial justice organization Kaepernick founded in 2016 in Oakland, CA to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities.
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