Sales of vegan ice cream increased by nearly 50% from 2016 to 2017, and the market is poised to grow as consumers look for supposedly healthier plant-based alternatives to traditional foods.
Right down the block from our offices is an ice cream shop that opened a couple of years ago. Before that, the store was a coffee shop from a well-known Italian brand, a sandwich shop and before that a French cafe. They all failed. Today it is jammed from noon until late at night. Within walking distance, there are three other ice cream shops that have moderate success. The difference is that this one sells only vegan ice creams and gelatos.
According to Social Standards, a market research firm that derives insights from online consumer conversations, approximately 6% of all ice cream conversations mention vegan topics, 65% of which are on banana ice cream and 30% on coconut. Overall, the consumers most interested in vegan ice cream are white women ages 18-34.
Sales of “vegan ice cream” increased by nearly 50% from 2016 to 2017, and the market is poised to grow as consumers look for supposedly healthier plant-based alternatives to traditional foods. The Van Leeuwen brand started the trend with its 10 different vegan ice creams made from of a combination of coconut milk, cashew milk and cocoa butter. One Portland, Ore., chef has created a line of chickpea “ice creams” he hopes to sell in grocery stores across the country.
“The nondairy, healthier, local, environmentally conscious, quality products, they’re actually shooting up,” he says. “It really is the future of food—having something that isn’t kicking off huge emissions.”