American chocolate and ice cream chain Ghirardelli has launched Coconut Bliss vegan vanilla ice cream at stores across the US. It’s the first time the 160-year-old company has ever offered dairy-free ice cream.
The new addition means that customers can now choose a non-dairy base for any shake or sundae (though not all toppings are vegan).
Ghirardelli’s organic coconut milk ice cream is made by Oregon-based company Coconut Bliss.
Founded in 2005, the brand has a focus on sustainability and social justice. In 2019, it began using a material made from sugarcane husks to replace the petroleum-based resin normally used for ice cream packaging.
Last year, mission-driven holding company HumanCo acquired a majority stake in the company. Coconut Bliss says this will allow it to expand globally and create innovative new products.
Rising demand for vegan ice cream
Sales of vegan ice cream have more than doubled in the past five years, largely fuelled by growing health awareness. It’s not just ice cream parlours that are catering to this growing demand — retail brands are launching new options too. For example, Ben & Jerry’s launched five new vegan flavours earlier this month, bringing its total number of dairy-free options to 19. It is now the biggest producer of premium non-dairy ice cream.
“Plant-based is no longer a dietary requirement, it’s fast becoming a way of life,” Dirk Mischendahl, co-founder of British vegan ice cream brand Northern Bloc, said last year.