Keto-Friendly Nick’s Ice Cream Raises $ 100 Million, Expands Further in Snack Segment

The cycle – which was also supported by Gullspang, Peak Bridge, Capagro and Nicoya – will support new product development, retail expansion, new hires and “significant investments in R&DIn the company, which was started by founder Niclas Luthman in Stockholm in 2017, and has since expanded into 16 international markets.

“Consumers can’t live without our pints of ice cream, our protein bars and, more recently, our Cookie Kräms,”Said Carlos Altschul, CEO of North America, where Nick’s products are now available in 6,700 stores.

“We look forward to using this funding to bring more new N! CK’S products consumers love to more snack categories. “

The Nick’s brand – which now claims to be the number one direct-to-consumer ice cream brand in the United States – has also seen increased sales on Amazon for its new keto snack bars, said the company, which took off as rocket in the United States as consumers seek authorized indulgences – products with lower calories and carbohydrates, which still offer taste and texture.

We generated over $ 9 million in gross sales [in the US] last year – slightly less net sales – and we’re on track to triple that number for 2021,“said Altschul, a dairy industry veteran who took charge of Nick’s USA in January 2021.

While Nick’s plays in several of the store’s categories in Europe, including beverages, snacks and sweeteners, US activity initially focused on light ice cream, Altschul said. However, its keto-friendly bars (“they have the nutrition of a protein bar but taste like candy”) – which launched directly to consumers on Nicks.com and is now rolling out to select retail outlets – has been a big hit, while new ‘Cookie Kräms’ ice cream sandwiches are coming from ‘arrive on the market.

“Bars are now available in brick and mortar. They are confirmed on shelves at Wakefern (Shoprite) and Big Y. They will be on shelves at Stop & Shop, The Giant Company, Harris Teeter and more in the coming months.

“Kräms launched straight in August and was N! CK’s most successful launch to date.”

Direct to consumer

The brick and mortar industry is experiencing strong growth, with the vast majority of retail partners increasing their referrals during category reviews, Altschul said.

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 the 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 over the summer.

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 in a statement. recent interviewWith FoodNavigator-USA.

“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.

EPG: Same taste, same texture, a fraction of the calories

While light ice cream is a very competitive segment, Nick’s stands out in part for 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 …

For his 7-strong vegan * range,Nick’s is also one of a handful of brands pioneering a new ‘animal-free’ sub-category that uses ‘real’ milk protein (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.

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, Altschul predicted. .

* There is no legal definition of “vegan” in US food law. Nick’s says her products are vegan because the whey protein she uses from partner Perfect Day is made without the use of animals.

In other words, although its whey protein is the same as the whey protein in cow’s milk, it is not derived from cow’s milk, but made by microbial fermentation in a tank.

Vegan Nicks Pints
Nick’s is one of a handful of brands pioneering in a new “animal-free” sub-category that uses “real” milk protein (from Perfect Day) which is produced by microbial fermentation instead of cows. Photo credit: Nick’s Ice Cream
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