A new dairy-free ice cream line is on the way to stores throughout the country, and it’s made with an unexpected legume. Wicked Kitchen’s new ice cream line is unique on the market since it is created with a base of lupini beans, a legume that is commonly eaten as a pickled snack in the Mediterranean.
Pints of Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Cookie Dough Wicked Kitchen ice cream will be available in a variety of flavors. Ice cream novelty items include hand-held bars in two flavors: Chocolate & Almond (vanilla ice cream with toasted almond pieces enrobed in a delicious chocolate flavored coating) and Berry White (vanilla ice cream with toasted almond pieces enrobed in an indulgent chocolate flavored coating) (sweet vanilla ice cream with a berry sauce swirl enrobed in a white chocolate-flavored coating dotted with red berry pieces). Wicked Kitchen will also introduce a Chocolate & Red Berry Cone, which will combine sweet ice cream with red berry sauce and chocolate chips in a gluten-free maize cone.
Next month, roughly 2,200 Kroger and Kroger-owned shops will carry Wicked Kitchen’s vegan ice cream brand. “As chefs we are in constant creation mode and lead with flavors and textures, our next innovations are sure to be big hits, for all types of eaters… These ice creams are unlike anything else available in the US,” stated Wicked Kitchen Co-Founder Derek Sarno.
Improving Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Dairy-free ice cream comes in a wide range of flavors, with almond, coconut, and soy milk being the most common bases. In recent years, however, plant-based entrepreneurs have experimented with novel basic ingredients to increase flavor, mouthfeel, and melt. Ben & Jerry’s introduced three new ice cream flavors in 2020, each manufactured with an unique sunflower butter base that serves as an allergen-friendly alternative to the company’s dairy and almond milk-based ice creams.
So Delicious, a vegan company, upgraded their dairy-free pints this year with its Wondermilk range. The new line is made with a base that combines oats, coconut, and soy, as well as coconut oil—all of which are commonly used as bases for plant-based milk—to create a more neutral-tasting, creamy base with the goal of bridging the gap between traditional dairy consumers and those who choose plant-based products.
The brand Wicked Kitchen chose lupini beans because of their neutral flavor and smoothness. “While there are lots of improvements in the dairy-free ice cream space, this particular formula using the lupin bean is a gamechanger… We chose the lupin bean because it takes it up to the next level in terms of creaminess, mouthfeel, and a neutral base for the other flavors to shine through compared to other plant-based options on the market,” stated CEO Pete Speranza.
Wicked Kitchen, which was founded by chef brothers Chad and Derek Sarno and released in the United Kingdom through Tesco in 2018, was an instant hit. Wicked Kitchen now has over 200 goods in over 15 categories, including prepared dinners, mushroom-based shawarma, and sweets like Sticky Toffee Pudding, among other things. Wicked Kitchen plans to launch 30 new goods in the UK this year, including ready-to-eat meals and sides, as well as seasonal items like Easter candies.
Wicked Kitchen raised $14 million in a Series A investment last year to assist support its growth into the US. The company has already imported certain fan-favorite UK goods to US shops, and it plans to expand its product offering by more than 50% across numerous categories at Kroger and Sprouts stores throughout the country. Wicked Kitchen is also offering frozen pizzas and heat-and-eat entrées this summer, in addition to the new dairy-free ice cream line.
Wicked Kitchen has announced a 200-store partnership with S Group, Finland’s largest supermarket retailer, and is extending its presence at Tesco in the United Kingdom.
“Our mission is to create amazing plant-based foods that improve the lives of humans and save animals globally… Since launching in the UK in 2018 and the US last summer, it’s been humbling yet validating to see the great reception of Wicked products across multiple categories,” Sarno said.
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