- Previously plant-based brand Coconut Bliss adds dairy ice creams to range and changes its name.
After producing exclusively coconut-based vegan ice creams for 17 years, US brand Coconut Bliss is to rebrand to Cosmic Bliss and introduce a range of organic dairy ice creams.
The owner of the brand, mission-driven holding company HumanCo, claims that the decision makes sense from a business perspective because over 97% of ice cream sales in the US are dairy-based. But the move could be regarded as unusual given that dairy sales are slumping internationally, while sales of plant-based foods have skyrocketed.
A sustainable option?
When HumanCo acquired a majority stake in Coconut Bliss in 2020, previous owner Lochmead Dairy retained a minority stake. Lochmead has encouraged the shift towards dairy, believing there is unmet demand for more ethical dairy products. But while HumanCo claims its grass-fed, organic ice cream is a sustainable alternative for those who don’t want to give up dairy, studies suggest that products from grass-fed cattle still have a far greater environmental impact than plant-based options.
With the advent of animal-free dairy proteins developed using precision fermentation, it is somewhat surprising that HumanCo didn’t choose this route, which would have allowed it to develop vegan-friendly and dairy-identical ice creams with a very low carbon footprint.
“Legacy” flavours to remain available
Cosmic Bliss’ existing range of coconut-based ice creams, now described as “legacy” flavours, will still be available — HumanCo says it will continue to develop and improve its plant-based products and will not be abandoning them. The coconut-based ice creams are highly popular and launched at national ice cream chain Ghirardelli last year.
“I believe that it’s important that there are options for all of those people because everybody wants to do better for the Earth,” HumanCo Founder and CEO Jason Karp told FoodDive. “Everybody wants to do their part. But not everybody wants to give up dairy.”