Updated: Jun 17, 2021
One of the primary challenges that brands in the food & beverage industry face today is based around creating healthier and more nutritious products without compromising on taste.
While taste undeniably remains the key purchase driver for consumers worldwide, more and more brands are (re)adapting recipes and formulations to create healthier products, whether that be by reducing levels of sugar or salt for example, or increasing the health benefits of a product through added functional ingredients.
Denada is one of the first brands to do this for the ice cream industry with their focus on reducing sugar while maintaining taste. We spoke with one of the Company’s Co-Founders, Jayde Taylor, to learn more about their journey towards creating the perfect no-compromise ice cream.
About The Brand
Denada is an Australian-owned company with three Co-Founders; Charlotte Haygarth, Jayde Taylor, and Sophie Lawrence. They make natural, sugar-free ice cream which is currently available in six dairy flavours and two vegan flavours. Read on to learn more about the brand’s beginnings and how they arrived at where they are today.
3 is a magic number!
DENADA was invented in 2017 when one of the current Co-Founders, Charlotte Haygarth, started the brand from her home kitchen. Charlotte is a pastry chef who trained in New York before returning home to Perth where she decided to try out a sugar-free diet. After being frustrated by the lack of sugar-free treats available at the time, Charlotte started developing her own sugar-free recipes which eventually came to include ice cream and that’s where the DENADA brand was born.
Charlotte’s idea was championed by Jayde Taylor, a former Hockeyroos player and Olympian who had just retired from the pitch before co-founding DENADA. Jayde had been following a keto diet and saw potential in the sugar-free product as it fit perfectly with her low-carb lifestyle.
Sophie joined as a Founding member with 10 years experience in the advertising industry after Charlotte and Jayde approached her with their prototype for brand and marketing direction. Given Sophie’s experience working with food brands and health agencies, she understood the impact that poor food choices were having on Australian’s health. Sophie got so emotionally invested that she quit her agency job and joined the business as the third Founding Partner.
The brand name was originally supposed to be based on the Spanish word “nada” which means “nothing”, but when the trademark was already being used, the three Founders decided to change it to “denada” which means “you’re welcome” in Spanish. A nice twist of fate!
"The three of us are united in the belief that no one needs added sugar but everybody deserves dessert!" – Jayde Taylor, Co-Founder.
That’s why the brand is built around a no compromise philosophy when it comes to delivering a sugar-free version of ice cream that truly rivals the taste and texture of the traditional version, offering consumers a simple swap.
Ticking All Boxes with Dairy and Vegan Pints
Currently, the DENADA range comes in eight flavours. Six of these flavours are dairy-based and two are plant-based. All flavours come in a 475ml tub format.
The dairy flavours are: Double Chocolate, Mint Chip, Peanut Butter, Vanilla, Raspberry Ribbon, and Caramel Chocolate Flake. The plant-based options include Vegan Salted Caramel and Vegan Espresso Chocolate Fudge.
DENADA ice creams can be found in most Australian independent grocery stores, health food stores and Coles supermarkets where they are priced at about $12 AUD per tub (around the same price as a tub of Ben & Jerry’s). They are also shelved in the UAE in Spinneys Dubai and Waitrose.
Creating a More Inclusive Ice Cream
There are a few differences in DENADA’s ingredients compared to that of other ice creams on the market. Firstly, they use real cream and are classified as an ice cream (not a frozen dessert) but don’t use milk so their ice creams are still so low in lactose that most people, often even those with lactose intolerance problems can enjoy it.
They also use Xylitol, a sweetener that doesn’t spike blood insulin levels, which is beneficial for diabetics and allows the ice cream to mimic the characteristics of regular sugar-filled ice cream.
“It is our secret sauce that Charlotte has come from a pastry background and not a food science or manufacturing background. This allows us to question industry standards at every point of the development phase. She is constantly experimenting in the kitchen and then goes deep into working out how to commercialise.”
The main challenge the brand comes across is in keeping their products clean and all natural, without sugar. This presents increased difficulty in their product development journey and makes everything much harder from sourcing suppliers to elongating product development.
They explained that there is a lot of trial and error. It would be much easier to use chemical emulsifiers and cheaper ingredients to make the product work but this is not in their brand values. In the end, the reward for consumers and, of course the business, far outweigh the challenges. The Co-Founders all agree that their unwavering principles around all natural, clean, and free from sugar ingredients are as much a challenge as they are of benefit to them!
Consumers Crave No Compromise
Australian consumers who are more conscious than ever when it comes to the foods and ingredients they are consuming are the most attracted to the DENADA brand - they want less sugar, cleaner ingredients and more free-from alternatives. DENADA ticks all of those boxes.
The love of delicious food and desserts whilst wanting to make healthier food choices is a dichotomy faced by consumers every day because rarely are healthy alternatives as delicious as their less healthy counterparts. Creating sugar-free ice cream that is uncompromising when it comes to the taste and texture one expects of ice cream is something DENADA have really committed to maintaining in their innovations and consumers are continually craving more product launches with this outcome in other categories as well.
“What’s great is that many consumers are no longer solely concerned with the impact of foods on body weight, but are also interested in other functional effects of foods they consume.”
This has made for a really exciting couple of years for DENADA with a stack of new, better-for-you desserts and snacks coming to market. There is still a big gap, however, between the supply and demand from consumers who want better-for-you desserts, and foods in general, that don’t sacrifice on taste.
Differentiation Through Diversification
Jayde explained that they want DENADA to become the market leader in better-for-you, sugar-free snacks and treats. They have plans to diversify their product range to snacks outside the freezer while building on different formats within the freezer.
The Co-Founders are open to conversations from potential customers or suppliers all-year round about their existing range or what they can create through innovation.
Using the INNODELICE network, the DENADA team hope to be able to export to new international markets and build contract manufacturing partnerships so if you would like to connect with the Denada team for future collaboration opportunities of this nature, you can check out their dedicated dairy ice cream product page or vegan frozen dessert page and connect with us.
Want to know more about our PARTNER BRANDS?
Do not miss our next BRAND story and sign-up to our monthly newsletter here.
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.