Perfect Day, the company which uses fermentation to make animal-free dairy from microbes, announced its first official retail partner today. The startup is working with Smitten Ice Cream in the Bay Area to create a line of ice creams — dubbed Smitten N’Ice Cream — featuring Perfect Day’s fermented protein. Perfect Day provides the flora-based dairy base, while Smitten develops the flavors and churns the pints.
N’Ice Cream is available in four flavors: Brown Sugar Chocolate, Fresh Strawberry, Root Beer Float and Coconut Pecan. Those in the Bay Area can do a socially distanced pick up of Smitten N’Ice Cream pints from Smitten Ice Cream stores for $12 each, or order them for delivery for $13. Consumers on the West Coast can also pre-order a four-pint bundle of N’Ice Cream for delivery. Orders will ship on May 15 and cost $52.00 plus shipping.
You might recall that Perfect Day has already tested its flora-based dairy in ice cream. Last July, the company did a limited-edition sale of 3,000 pints available through its website and sold out.
I was lucky enough to sample Perfect Day’s flora-based ice cream last year and thought it was nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. One thing I was curious about at the time was labeling. What language would Perfect Day use to communicate that its dairy was animal-free but made from microbes, not plants?
At least with the N’Ice Cream partnerships, they’ve decided to add “Perfect Day clean-label base” to the ingredient list of each co-branded. The pints are also labeled “vegan” and “lactose-free.”
One thing has changed from Perfect Day’s launch last year: its price point. Last year’s limited-edition ice cream cost $60 for three pints (plus almost double that for shipping). At $12 a pint, their new price point is much more reasonable, and on par with some of the fancier vegan ice creams on the market. The lower price could be because Perfect Day teamed up with Smitten to actually produce and package the ice cream, instead of doing it all themselves.
The N’Ice Cream launch comes just a few weeks after the FDA officially approved Perfect Day’s flora-based protein as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). When I spoke with Perfect Day co-founder Ryan Pandya after the news broke, he told me that the company had “numerous product launches” coming up with partners “across different product categories and channels.” He also noted that COVID-19 had not dramatically altered any of these timelines.
Add to that Perfect Day’s $200 million in funding, and my guess is that we’ll be seeing flora-based dairy show up in a lot more than just ice cream very soon.