It is estimated that as much as 68% of the world’s population is somewhat lactose intolerant, so it is no surprise that there would be such an increasing demand for non-dairy alternatives within the frozen dessert space.
There are many brands the world over who boast the non-dairy claim, but few with a banana base, and that is what this article is going to look at in more detail. We met with Andrew Kinnear, Co-Founder of YELLOFRUIT, a plant-based and non-dairy frozen dessert brand based in Canada. Andrew tells us more about the brand’s origins as a family-focused company and also shares his perspective on the benefits of being banana-based in the frozen dessert industry.
Building a FAMILY-friendly BRAND
Family-built brand, YELLOFRUIT, was created by Husband and Wife duo, Andrew and Claire, when they discovered that one of their children wasn’t able to consume dairy products as a baby. In the process of making homemade non-dairy snacks and treats for baby Eddy, they ended up creating a tasty ice cream style recipe that was popular with not only all three of their children, but the rest of the extended family as well. This was five years ago and it was the first time they realized that they could turn this recipe into something bigger, which is when they started making plans to build YELLOFRUIT into the better-for-you brand we all know and love today.
Andrew, YELLOFRUIT Co-Founder, explained that it is important to them to build a product range that is highly accessible and inclusive to everyone. With this in mind, they were able to become certified organic, vegan, and kosher, as well as ensure that their products are manufactured in a peanut-free facility.
These assurances have attracted a broad range of consumers, one of which being families with a similar profile to the Founders, who have extra disposable income to spend on healthier treat alternatives for their children.
Additionally, the brand has also discovered a large number of brand advocates in an ever-increasing shopper group looking for healthier, natural, and non-dairy foods. This group can typically be segmented into those who choose the brand based on personal diet preference such as vegans, or those who shop out of necessity due to lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.
Thanks to the growth in popularity among the various aforementioned consumer segments, YELLOFRUIT has been successful in achieving listings in over 1000 stores across Canada, including major retailers like Metro, Loblaws and Sobeys, as well as many convenience stores and independents.
The benefits of BANANA-based
Banana is the key ingredient in all of YELLOFRUIT’s SKU’s. Their goal was to create a non-dairy frozen dessert which tastes just like ice cream. Banana was a great ingredient choice due to the creaminess, flavour and structure it adds to the recipe. The only challenge with using banana as a primary ingredient is that it is more complicated to freeze and becomes very dense and hard on its own. This is one of the main reasons why most other companies using banana as their base fill the rest of their recipe with gums and stabilizers, so it becomes easier to scoop.
“We didn't want to do that. We wanted to create a product that scooped like ice cream with a smooth mouthfeel and a clean label that was easy-to-read and understand, so we worked with a team of food scientists who helped us create a fruit-based formulation that is built on a “food only” philosophy.”
There are currently three different flavours in their range: Monty's Favourite Strawberry™, Holly's Favourite Mango™, and Eddy's Favourite Chocolate™. Each of the names associated with the flavours are the real names of their children which is a nice touch.
“We really liked the idea of naming the original flavours after our kids because family is very important to us and we wanted our brand to convey that. We are literally putting our names on our products; that is how much we believe in the quality of what we are creating.”
Their three pints are available to purchase in retail stores across Canada as well as their online store. They also manufacture smaller tubs that they currently use for marketing and sample purposes, however these are in the process of being commercialized for food service and club channel customers.
How can the INNODELICE network support YELLOFRUIT’s growth?
Coming up to the summer months in Canada, most NPD projects are already locked in for 2021, but if you are considering partnering with YELLOFRUIT, they are open to conversations regarding potential co-manufacturing and private label projects for 2022 as they are in the process of developing new flavours and pack sizes to add to their portfolio. They would also welcome discussions around importing and licensing agreements, especially for markets beyond North America.
The brand will be aiming to soon launch into their neighboring market - USA - where they will be looking for reliable partners to help them get set up including brokers, distributors, and retailers etc. If you fall under any of these categories and are interested in collaborating with YELLOFRUIT, get in touch below.
How to start collaborating with YELLOFRUIT?
If you would be interested in connecting further with the YELLOFRUIT team, we would be happy to facilitate that introduction. You can learn more about the YELLOFRUIT brand here on our website, and if you are interested in discussing potential partnership opportunities together, please reach out to Nicolas on firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea on email@example.com and we can connect you.
Founded by former executives in the Ice Cream industry, INNODELICE aims to create a worldwide ecosystem of solutions within the frozen dessert industry. Thanks to the relationships fostered by INNODELICE, manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors and suppliers can discover, buy and sell solutions to GROW their business. These solutions include co-manufactured and branded products as well as innovative and competitive ingredients, packaging and services. Our collaboration model generates lower costs and fewer risks for our participating partners while optimising their time to market. To learn more about INNODELICE, contact Nicolas MARIE (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrea MONTREUIL (email@example.com) or visit www.innodelice.com.