When the folks NadaMoo! started making their coconut milk ice cream for friends and family in 2004, word got around so fast the company had a presence in Whole Foods just one year later.
Now we’re in the middle of a plant-based food revolution of sorts, as a growing number of people cut animal-based meals from their diets and seek alternatives. NadaMoo! is in a promising position as far as dessert is concerned, having announced a new funding round this past week: $4 million in a Series A funding round led by InvestEco Capital.
This new round of funding will go towards expanding NadaMoo!’s distribution, developing new products, and building up the Austin-based staff.
More importantly, the news suggests there’s much promise in the plant-based ice cream/desserts area. What was once the territory of vegans has now become a market in its own right—and one projected to be worth $1 billion by 2027. You can now buy plant-based ice cream products everywhere, not just at Whole Foods and health stores. And, tellingly, large companies like Ben & Jerry’s are now selling plant-based products, too.
Plant-based ice cream products aren’t new, but they’ve historically been made with soy, which has caused a lot of setbacks in the market. Besides a swirl of debate around whether or not the stuff’s even good for you, there are also a lot of people who simply don’t like the taste of soy as a dessert alternative.
But as NadaMoo! can attest, you don’t have to use soy to make a decent ice cream alternative. And they’re not alone. Fellow Austin residents GoodPop offer five vegan flavors, also made from coconut milk. This company’s claim to fame is that all of its products come from clean, responsibly sourced ingredients and use whole foods.
Cashew milk is another popular choice from ice cream alternatives. Seattle shop Frankie & Jo’s offers a highly praised cashew milk ice cream and will even ship it to your doorstep in packs of four. Across the pond, in Norfolk, UK, Booja Booja uses cashews as well as coconut to make flavors like Feisty Rollercoastery Ginger and Pompompous Maple Pecan.
Hemp milk is also gaining popularity. Manhattan-based Morganstern’s Finest Ice Cream has been in business since 2014 and uses a hemp-coconut-almond milk mixture to create flavors. Founder Nicholas Morgenstern was perviously making his own Brazil nut base, though it became to expensive to scale.
I could sit here the rest of the morning cranking out summaries on the many companies now disrupting the ice cream space with plants. That said, lots of business doesn’t guarantee a market will survive, let alone grow. Which is why NadaMoo!’s funding news this week is encouraging for anyone wanting to see more of these products in the future. Now if they could just figure out how to substitute all the sugar, we’d be set.