Keto-friendly Nick’s Ice Cream is set to triple US revenue this year and expand to new categories
Nick’s has taken off like a rocket in the United States as consumers seek authorized indulgences – products with lower calories and carbohydrates, which still offer taste and texture – said Altschul, a dairy industry veteran who took over as head of Nick’s USA in January 2021.
“We generated over $ 9 million in gross sales last year – just under net sales – and we’re on track to triple that number for 2021 because we have amazing taste and texture, and nutrition. unmatched “,he told FoodNavigator-USA.
While Nick’s plays in several categories of the store in Europe, Including drinks, snacks and sweeteners, US activity initially focused on light ice cream, Altschul said. However, its keto-friendly bars (“they haveIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. the nutrition of a protein bar but tastes like a candy”) – which was launched directly to the consumer at Nicks.comAnd will arrive at retail in due course – have been a big hit, while new ice cream sandwiches will hit the market soon.
The brick and mortar sector is growing strongly, with 80% of retail partners increasing their number of SKUs during category reviews, and distribution growing from 3,500 stores at the end of 2020 to nearly 6,500 today , said Altschul.
The subscription service now represents between 25 and 30% of our online activity, depending on the monthIn addition to this, you need to know more about it.
However, the direct-to-consumer business, which has only been operational for a few months, has been a runaway success, he said, with distribution partner e-Tailer Inc – which manages the distribution of cream. ice cream for multiple brands – claiming Nick’s recorded higher direct-to-consumer sales than brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs in June.
“It was only at the end of the summer that we found the right partner(E-Tailer) for DTP activity, but the repetition rates are 48%. And the subscription service now represents between 25 and 30% of our online activity, depending on the month “, said Altschul. “So it became a channel in which we were able to build individual relationships with consumers. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
The Nick’s brand resonates with shoppers on many levels, with consumer groups drawn to a range of attributes, from low calories to low net carbs or keto to distinctive flavors, Altschul said.
“It’s about getting the right message to the right consumer, so we’re always optimizing our message for the right audience. So in some cases we are testing 30, 40, or even 50 post types per week, because what is relevant or resonates a week may not resonate two or three weeks later. So it’s an ongoing process.In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
EPG: Same taste, same texture, a fraction of the caloriesIn addition to this, you need to know more about it.
While light ice cream is a very competitive segment, Nick’s stands out in part by its use of EPG, An herbal oil that has been restructured so that virtually nothing is absorbed by the body.
Solid fat – listed on food labels as “EPG (Modified Vegetable Oil)” – contains 0.7 calories per gram (fat typically contains 9 calories), allowing for significant calorie reductions (Nick’s pints have 220 -360 calories) without compromising on taste or texture, Altschul said.
Nick’s – which sweetens its products with a combination of allulose, erythritol and steviol glycoside Reb M – recently revamped its core line to further reduce net carbs, said Altschul, who said the references from the keto brand appeal to consumers, although they don’t refer to keto on the front of the pack.
Animal-free dairy products …In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
For his 7-strong vegan range,Nick’s is also one of a handful of brands (Graeter’s, Brave robot, Hit) Pioneer of a new “animal-free” subcategory that uses “real” milk proteins (from Perfect day) Which are produced by microbial fermentation instead of cows.
Since no animals are involved in the production of the “non-animal whey protein” in Nick’s frozen desserts – which began shipping direct to the consumer in mid-December 2020 – he describes the products as vegan, well Consumers allergic to milk protein are reminded that they contain milk allergens on the front of the package, Altschul said.
The products – which claim to offer the sensory experience of regular dairy ice cream that is lactose-free (because no milk sugar is involved) and without compromise – work well, although education is important at this early stage, has he declared.
“We have invested with our partnerIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. [Perfect Day] to publicize what makes these products differentIn addition to this, you need to know more about it. [from, say, plant-based vegan frozen desserts] in that we have animal-free dairy protein, so we can offer the experience of regular ice cream with better nutritional value and without the impact of dairy products from a sustainability point of view. We have invested in this post and have seen a significant increase in interest and purchases of our vegan range as a result. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
While the notion of a vegan * product containing dairy protein is a challenge for buyers, consumers will become accustomed to the concept of animal-free dairy products as these ingredients are increasingly used in the food industry, predicted. Altschul.
“Our approach, which you can see in our campaign that we launched in April in May, was to be frank that we are using technology to deliver a full dairy ice cream experience in a product without the use of ‘animals. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
Allulose and erythritol in limited quantitiesIn addition to this, you need to know more about it.
Asked about tight supplies and high prices of some specialty sweeteners– especially allulose and erythritol, which feature prominently in Nick’s products – he said:
“We are one of the largest buyers of allulose and erythritol across the country, but we have a great relationship with our suppliers and leverage those relationships to ensure that we have an uninterrupted supply and that we can mitigate some of these cost increases when it comes to passing them on. to consumers. “In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
* There is no legal definition of “vegan” written into US food law, so manufacturers make their own judgments or rely on third-party certification agencies if they wish to adhere to a specific standard. Nick’s says her products are vegan because the whey protein she uses from her partner Perfect Day is made “without the use of animals. ”
In other words, although its whey protein is identical to the whey protein in cow’s milk, it is not. derivativeFrom cow’s milk, but made by microbial fermentation in tank.
- Learn more about animal-free dairy products HERE.
“In the history of ice cream shipping, we have never seen the growth of N! CK’S. Over the past six months, N! CK’S has caught up with brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs and in June overtook them. In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
Steve Sauter, CEO, e-Tailer Inc. Photo credit: Nick’s Ice Cream