Soon after Fairlife shook up the dairy category in 2015 with its delicious, ultra-filtered milk offering more protein and less sugar, fans began screaming for Fairlife ice cream – lighting up the brand’s social media feeds with DMs and homemade videos, writing letters and even petitioning the company’s Chicago office in-person to bring its creamy, delicious goodness to the frozen treats aisle.
America’s ice cream dreams are finally coming true, thanks to a partnership between Fairlife and Boardwalk Frozen Treats. Seven flavours of Fairlife Light Ice Cream – Vanilla, Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Double Fudge Brownie, Java Chip and Mint Chip – are hitting select grocery and retail stores in 14-oz. containers.
All varieties are made with ultra-filtered milk for a creamy texture and delicious taste. Depending on the flavour, Fairlife Light Ice Cream packs 8 or 9 grams of high-quality protein, with half the fat, 40% less sugar and 40% less calories than traditional ice cream. All are lactose-free and are crafted with natural flavours and sweeteners. They have no artificial preservatives, colours or growth hormones.
The launch brings a differentiated offering to the US$14bn/£11.1bn ice cream category and meets the growing demand for “better-for-you” dairy desserts.
“After listening to what our consumers have been telling us – and asking for – and looking at market trends, we saw a big opportunity to take our dairy nutrition credentials from the fridge to the freezer,” said Tim Doelman, CEO, Fairlife. “We’re excited to apply our proprietary cold filtration process – which delivers the Fairlife fundamentals of high-quality milk – to frozen treats.”
Doelman – an ice cream industry veteran – notes that whilst the “healthier” ice cream segment is crowded with products with less sugar and more protein than traditional offerings, the missing ingredient until now has been tasted.
“Repeat purchase rate with many of these competitive products is low due to disappointing taste,” he said. “Fairlife stands for great nutrition and great taste, and our milk production process allows us to do things others can’t. Both our consumers and our retail customers are incredibly excited about what we’re bringing to market.”
He adds that whilst Fairlife is not an ice cream company, its team has more than 40 years of combined experience in ice cream development.
To help bring the new brand to market, Fairlife partnered with Boardwalk Frozen Treats, a company with extensive experience in the sales, marketing, and distribution of national ice cream brands. “The Boardwalk team knows the ice cream route to market and how to sell in and promote a new brand like ours better than anyone in the business,” said Bill Kelly, chief marketing officer, Fairlife. “Distribution and insights-driven marketing are critical in this category, and we couldn’t have found a better partner.”
David Owens, CEO Boardwalk Frozen Treats, added, “As a pioneer in the dairy industry, Fairlife has consistently introduced a variety of innovative, milk-based products that have strong nutrition profiles and taste great. We knew the new line of Fairlife light ice cream would be no different, and we’re proud to align with them as they make this leap.”
The relationship will be similar to the collaboration between The Coca-Cola Company and its network of independent bottling partners, Doelman noted. “We’ll provide the base formulation to Boardwalk, who will complete the freezing and production process before packaging the ice cream and delivering it to retail customers across the country,” he said.
The line could eventually extend to novelties – popsicles, cones, ice cream sandwiches and the like – which continue to grow in popularity as consumers reach for single-serve, portion-controlled indulgences.