Coconut Bliss has renamed as Cosmic Bliss and introduced a dairy-based ice cream line after 17 years as a renowned vegan company. The new dairy line is “humane,” “grass-fed,” and “the most sustainably created and clean-label brand on the market,” according to Cosmic Bliss.
The former Coconut Bliss brand, which specialized in organic coconut milk-based ice cream pints, bars, and sandwiches, was purchased by private holding company HumanCo in 2020, and it has been studying the addition of dairy-based goods to the Coconut Bliss portfolio since then. The business discovered that dairy-based ice cream accounts for 97 percent of all ice cream sales in the United States, and it intended to get into that market.
At a time when most companies are focusing on developing plant-based versions of their established product lines, Cosmic Bliss has taken the opposite approach, claiming to have a dairy line that is superior to all others.
Hundreds of comments on Cosmic Bliss’ Facebook page since the brand’s announcement of the new dairy line earlier this week indicate that the majority of its consumers are furious at the brand’s choice to start exploiting animals for profit.
“Why on earth would you start selling dairy? Ugh,” commented one responder. The company responded with a long statement, saying that, while its vegan goods would continue to be a significant part of its range, the choice to add dairy is in line with its objective. Cosmic Bliss stated on Facebook, “Our decision to introduce organic, grass-fed dairy ice cream is consistent with our mission to help build a more sustainable agricultural system for everyone.”
The company goes on to say that by delivering dairy products that “leverage sustainable agricultural practices,” they hope to show dairy customers a “better way.”
“We agree that dairy isn’t for everyone, and not all people support that dietary preference… For us, it was not about choosing one dietary preference over the other, it was about providing better options no matter what dietary preference you chose. While we know this may not change your view, we certainly hope that you’ll understand where we are coming from,” Cosmic Bliss stated.
Customers have commented on Cosmic Bliss’ Facebook post on the new dairy line, pointing out the reality about dairy and that promoting the dairy line as “sustainable” is greenwashing—that is, adopting a misleading marketing spin to persuade the public that its new goods are ecologically benign.
“There is nothing sustainable about dairy farming—never mind the intense cruelty associated with it. This feels like a step backward, not forward,” one commenter stated.
“You have gone from an ethical company that creates delicious, plant-based products and have now decided to add animal exploitation? Grass-fed cows end up dead, at the slaughterhouse, just like their grain-fed, confined, counterparts when their usefulness has run out (at merely a fraction of their natural lifespan)… All for some ice cream? Exploitation for additional profit is not a company that I am interested in supporting. I am shocked and disgusted. Shame on you,” one commenter said.
Another commenter added, “Incredibly disappointing to see one of my favorite companies taking such a huge step backwards—trying to dupe people into believing there is anything ethical about dairy.”
In a statement the brand claimed, “Cosmic Bliss is an inclusive brand that welcomes all consumers and dietary preferences… We are proud to expand our product offerings to impact many more consumers, who are looking to live better, in our sustainable-driven mission. At our core, our brand has always been about progressing sustainable life practices, and our values remain. Most consumers want to do better and enjoy desserts that are made in a more sustainable way.”
Enhancing Dairy-Free Options
Major brands and businesses are recognizing the negative environmental and ethical effects of using dairy and are transitioning to dairy-free options. Ben & Jerry’s introduced two new dairy-free ice cream flavors earlier this year, bringing the total number of non-dairy varieties available in the United States to 20 pints. Ben & Jerry’s has been making ice cream for over 40 years and in 2016 introduced its first dairy-free varieties. It is currently attempting to make a significant chunk of its inventory dairy-free in order to enhance its sustainability indicators and provide additional options to its consumers.
Vegan ice cream pints and sundae-style cones were introduced earlier this year as part of So Delicious‘ new Wondermilk line, which uses innovative technologies to improve current dairy-free goods and bridge the gap between traditional dairy drinkers and plant-based beverage customers. Blending oats, coconut, and soy with coconut oil to produce a more neutral-tasting, creamy foundation, the new recipe tries to resemble the sight, taste, and texture of dairy milk.
Meanwhile, some forward-thinking businesses are developing dairy-like products without the need of cows. Companies like Perfect Day employ precise fermentation to create animal-free whey, in which microflora—tiny living organisms used to generate daily products like vitamins and probiotics—instead of cows create dairy-identical milk proteins directed by a cow’s DNA sequence. The entire process is acellular (meaning it does not include animal cells) and produces a large amount of proteins that may be utilized to make products that are similar to dairy meals like milk, cheese, and ice cream.
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