Dream Pops, a vegan ice cream popsicle featuring fruit and a striking polyhedron design thanks to a 3D-printed mold, has been declared the “it” dessert of summer 2018 by New York City-based magazine, Gotham. The trendy, nondairy ice cream has been creating a buzz since it landed in select Los Angeles Starbucks in early July.
What makes Dream Pops so appealing to consumers?
“Ice cream has officially been brought into the future. Say goodbye to that boring old cone and get yourself a Dream Pop—this summer’s undeniable it-dessert and Instagram darling,” writes Gotham author Christina Najjar. “Not only do these insanely cute treats look fabulous on your feed, they’re also guilt free. No seriously, all Dream Pops are 100 percent plant-based, made from rich coconut milk, coconut blossom sugar, creamy tapioca, pure vanilla bean, and sea salt. No dairy, no problem!”
Gotham isn’t alone in picking up on the fact that vegan Dream Pops are not only eye-catching but catering to the rising demand for plant-based products and the millennial love of Insta-worthy food. Online lifestyle publication, POPSUGAR praised both the Los Angeles-based brand’s sharp, geometric design and flavor, stating that despite being dairy-free, “Dream Pops are creamy and rich enough to make you forget all about milk.” Refinery29 called them“stylish” and “trendy,” and a “fashionable older sister of your favorite childhood ice pops.” Tasting Table, an online publication focused on food and food culture, said that the vegan ice cream pops are in “a class of their own.” Google and Buzzfeed have also pinpointed Dream Pops as something different from the usual nondairy ice cream.
With a selection of six flavors featuring superfood-rich flavor combinations like passionfruit and jackfruit, chocolate and adaptogenic lion’s mane mushroom, vanilla matcha, and more, the dairy-free ice cream pops are also catering to those seeking food with benefits, a top trend identified by many experts. But Dream Pop’s appeal as the dessert of the summer may go beyond superfoods.
Capturing the demand for dairy-free
Apart from the chic design, Dream Pops have targetted another rising consumer trend: the demand for dairy alternatives. Recent data shows that the global dairy alternatives market, including vegan milk, ice cream, and yogurt raked in $9.8 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.4 percent up until 2025. Research released by data firm Innova Market Insights last November shows that vegan products made up 40 percent of new “dairy” launches over a five-year-period, driven by rising interest in health and plant-based food.
The vegan ice cream category is estimated to reach a $2.45 billion market value by 2027. Investors are responding, aiming to capture the burgeoning market. Austin-based, family-owned vegan ice cream brand NadaMoo! not only increased revenue six-fold in two years, but also secured a $4 million investment led by Canadian sustainable investment firm, InvestEco in order to develop new products and expand distribution. Traditional dairy-based ice cream brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen-Dazs and the cult-favorite low-calorie Halo Top, are also aiming to capitalize on the popularity of nondairy ice cream.
While Dream Pops was available only at select Starbucks and online for a limited delivery range, the better-for-you brand, which aims to be “the Willy Wonka of plant-based confections,” recently became available for nationwide shipping – a sign of the company’s fast growth and consumer appeal.