Coming this month, So Delicious Dairy Free is releasing Wondermilk ice cream pints, novelty cones and milks that are designed to taste like real dairy.
Using new technology that emulates the precise flavor and texture properties of animal-based dairy, So Delicious – a subsidiary of Danone North America – wants to appeal to consumers who avoid plant-based milks because of taste.
The Wondermilk ice cream line features pints in five flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate Cocoa Chip, Strawberry, Cookies & Creme and Buttery Pecan. Wondermilk will also debut specialty sundae cones in two flavors: Vanilla Peanut Sundae and Salted Caramel Sundae.
Beginning in February, Wondermilk’s dairy-free milk beverage line will launch in whole fat and 2% reduced-fat varieties.
De-coding the taste of dairy
Unlike most plant-based milks, which usually depend on a single ingredient such as almond or soy, the Wondermilk products combine coconuts, oats, and soy with coconut oil to create a rich and creamy base.
The company spent a year studying the complex flavor and mouthfeel characteristics of conventional milk, according to Fast Company.
“There’s been a group of consumers who remain skeptical about plant-based offerings, largely because of their taste and texture,” John Starkey, Danone North America’s president of plant-based food and beverages said. “From our research, we saw that there were about 53% of people who say that wouldn’t purchase plant-based beverages because of their taste.”
Danone’s scientists carefully analyzed and tested hundreds of plant ingredients to re-construct dairy’s fatty texture and signature “flavor curve”.
Closing the gap
The new Wondermilk line is helping to forge a new category of “dairy-like” alternatives designed to taste exactly like cow’s milk. Silk, another Danone brand, recently debuted NextMilk to offer a similar nutrition profile to dairy with a strong milk-like, creamy taste. Both Wondermilk and NextMilk can be consumed directly as beverages or used for cooking and baking.
“This is a huge opportunity to close that gap between traditional dairy and plant-based beverage household penetration,” says Starkey.