Dairy Free, Allergen Free, Nut Free, Soy Free & Egg Free Vegan Ice Cream

Chocolate Free From PicTaywell Ice Creams has come a long way in the last decade. It’s aim has always been to produce the finest quality, natural, additive free, dairy ice creams and this stance has allowed us to grow into being more than just an artisan ice cream maker in the heart of Kent.

From these humble beginnings the challenges we have faced have come from the dairy industry’s constant over-production and subsequent collapse in the milk price. This has encouraged ever increasing numbers of producers to enter the markets of ice cream, yogurt, milk drinks and cheese, thereby putting extreme pressure on the incumbents. Exacerbating this over-supply has been the UK population’s gradual move away into dairy free in order to satisfy current health trends which demand an abstinence of dairy and gluten, the two allergens deemed most problematic to human health.

The 1.6% of the population who have no choice but to remove these two ingredients from their diets (this author included) due to intolerance have now been joined by a further 40% of the population who have chosen to avoid certain foods. This ‘on trend’ movement has led to numerous people feeling a considerable improvement in their health and well-being, encouraging them to write about it on the Internet. It is these blogs that are starting to radically change the demand for more allergen free products to aid the new ‘lifestylers’ and the way they now wish to live their lives.

Going gluten free is a much easier process in a radically changed marketplace which offers almost anything in this new format whereas a decade ago, nothing could be purchased in this way and Taywell was one the first companies to be promoting gluten free ice creams. How times have changed!

FFFA 16 Innovation HC 300dpi CMYKThe move into dairy free started in earnest early last year and is now accelerating like the proverbial rocket heading for Mars. In the dessert market dairy products dominate: in fact it is hard to find anything on the supermarket shelves that does not contain either gluten or milk (I know because I seriously struggle!) The arrival of soy milk and almond milk, which I confess to struggling with and enjoying in the same way as I did dairy, have made life easier and the request to us from Sainsbury’s to manufacture an allergen free range for them was grabbed by both hands.

Rather than offer a ‘me too’ product, we used our two year knowledge of making Sweet Rebellion and came up with a nut, soy, gluten, dairy and egg free range that tasted as close to ice cream as one could get, albeit with a hint of coconut in the background. We used coconut because of its similar saturated fat content to dairy and its ability to deliver a delicious mouthfeel.

Sainsbury’s are delighted with this vegan and kosher range and we are delighted to be working with a partner who has truly appreciated our attention to detail and who has spent the last six months guiding us through the tough audit to become a ‘Free From’ supplier. For a small-scale producer using cutting-edge ingredients, such as functional foods in these ‘ice creams’ and manufacturing on a site built for volume some 80% lower, Sainsbury’s has shown unbelievable faith in our abilities to get this product to market.

As the product goes on sale at the end of the month, we look to start our crowdfunding campaign to raise money to rebuild our factory and offer a dedicated ‘allergen free’ production line to service the requirements of this new market. This will obviously include the burgeoning vegan and kosher markets.

We expect that sometime in the coming year, Sainsbury’s will want to list a Sweet Rebellion-style range of allergen and refined sugar free frozen desserts and by then, our new factory will hopefully have been built. This would then help cement our domination of this section of the ice cream market.