Pardon the pun, but plant-based foods are growing. The protein category could be worth more than $162 billion by 2030, up from $29.4 billion in 2020, according to a new report by Bloomberg Intelligence. There are small companies, yes, and even the big names are getting involved, including Burger King (the brand launched its Impossible Whopper nationwide in 2019), Nestlé, and more. There’s even a Plant Based World Expo (which has also been around since 2019) — and I just went to it.
Late last week, along with hundreds of retailers, food service professionals, and plant-based suppliers, I attended the second-ever trade show (it was postponed, and then eventually cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic) to sample the most exciting plant-based groceries currently available in stores and online, and launching in the coming months: baked goods, breakfast foods, baked goods that are breakfast foods, frozen treats, meats, cheeses, milks, snacks, and, if you can believe it, more!
After tasting around 90 different samples, one freebie stood out for having left a lasting impression. If you asked me to name the best thing I tried all day, this would be it. Honestly, I can’t wait to buy this for my own freezer. What is it? Keep reading.
Wonderlab’s Doozy Pots Plant-Based Gelato
It was early in the day when I reached the Wonderlab’s Doozy Pots booth; they were located in the row farthest to the right, which just happened to be my starting point. Founded by Kirsten Sutaria, a food scientist who worked at Ben & Jerry’s and developed their vegan line, and her husband, Karl, in 2019, the company aims to “craft the most delightful plant-based treats from ingredients that are kind to the earth and its communities.” Of the six flavors currently available on their site, they had samples of two (Banana Cinnamon Date and Chocolate Mint Chip), plus a new vanilla-based flavor they’re testing, which has 50% less sugar and is made with upcycled plant fiber.
The samples were a nice-sized portion scooped into compostable cups. I tried the new flavor first and was surprised at how creamy it tasted — it also didn’t have a chalky aftertaste that sometimes lingers with other dairy-free ice creams. In fact, if you told me this gelato was made with eggs and cream, I’d believe it. It’s not! It’s made with hemp and oats. (I told Karl I would not reveal more details about the flavor, but I will say it was delicious and I will be looking for it 2022.) It was so good, against my original plan (I was supposed to pace myself), I tried another sample.
Unsurprisingly, the Banana Cinnamon Date’s banana gelato was just as creamy and the cinnamon flavor and date syrup swirl gave me real banana-bread vibes. Later in the day, I told a friend I’d met up with to find this booth and taste the samples immediately. He confirmed it was the best thing he’d tasted that day as well.
Do you have a favorite plant-based ice cream? Tell us about it in the comments below!