2019 has arrived, and the plant-based movement is here to stay. This year, we will continue to see a shift in the ice cream industry towards dairy-free frozen desserts. But what are they?

The name speaks for itself: plant-based. For ice cream and gelato, that means dairy alternatives such as coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk and more are used in place of traditional cow’s milk.

U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods increased 17% in the past year, topping $3.7 billion, according to Nielsen data commissioned by The Good Food Institute in the 52-week period ended Aug. 11, 2018. Global product introductions with plant-based claims grew at a compound annual rate of 62% between 2013 and 2017, according to Innova Market Insights.

Consumers are looking for products that meet their health and wellness needs while still maintaining great taste. The rise of dairy-free frozen desserts means people with lactose intolerance, digestive issues, and those living a vegan lifestyle still get to join in on a frozen indulgence that tastes and feels just like gelato or ice cream.

It’s important for retailers to continue offering a wide range of products despite the rapid growth of plant-based frozen desserts. One-third of people declare themselves as flexitarian, but 80% of households that buy plant-based products also buy dairy-based products.

There are already many brands on the market offering these products, but it will come down to quality to determine which ones will stay.

Among an expansive portfolio of authentic Italian gelato and sorbet, G.S. Gelato offers premium plant-based frozen desserts made with coconut milk for foodservice and grocery/retail, with branded and private label capabilities. These delicious new flavors are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and free from artificial ingredients. With over twenty years of experience crafting the best ingredients into extraordinary products, we invite our new and future customers to join the movement with the nation’s most trusted gelato, sorbet, and plant-based frozen dessert manufacturer, G.S. Gelato!

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