New Zealand coconut ice cream startup Wahiki Creamery has landed a major contract in China, which will have its vegan products served in Asia’s biggest childcare center.
The center – named Cathay Future and headquartered in Tianjin – is an international leader in education, with 20,000 enrolled children.
Wahiki Creamery’s product was showcased at China’s biggest ice cream trade show, “Ice Cream China 2018,” last October. It is the only Kiwi ice cream brand to be certified gluten-free by Ceoliac New Zealand and offers a variety of creative plant-based flavors, including turmeric, black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon.
According to the brand’s CEO Haman Shahpari, China is the ideal market for Wahiki Creamery’s product. He notes that the country’s food market is progressive and eager to embrace healthy plant-based options.
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He said in a statement, “We have received a huge reception from the Chinese market who are extremely astute and keen on innovative, healthy food alternatives that address the major health questions of our era such as dairy, sugar and calorie intake.”
“The Chinese are a progressive market when it comes to food,” he added. “[They] are active and enthusiastic about providing their population with better-for-you products such as our low sugar, low calorie, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free ice cream.”
Despite its reputation for animal product consumption, interest in meatless and dairy-free foods is growing across China. According to research from last year, the vegan market in the country is expected to rise by 17 percent between 2015 and 2020.
And Cathay Future seems to be moving with the times; Wahiki Creamery’s product will be the first coconut-based ice cream brand – as well as the first Kiwi brand – to be served at the center.
Following on from the success of its biggest-ever deal with the childcare center, the New Zealand-based brand intends to keep on growing and developing new products.
“The Chinese have shown as no hesitation in hearing about the health and benefits of our products and have demonstrated that they are actively looking for ongoing innovation and product development which delivers in the better-for-you markets,” said Shahpari.
“This is only the beginning for us,” he added. “We are taking ice cream where no one else has before and will be putting out even more flavors previously unheard of.”
Image credit: Wahiki
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