Soon after fairlife shook up the dairy category in 2015 with its delicious, ultra-filtered milk offering more protein and less sugar, fans began screaming for fairlife ice cream – lighting up the brand’s social media feeds with DMs and homemade videos, writing letters and even petitioning the company’s Chicago office in person to bring its creamy, delicious goodness to the frozen treats aisle.
America’s ice cream dreams are finally coming true, thanks to a partnership between fairlife and Boardwalk Frozen Treats. Seven flavors of fairlife® Light Ice Cream – Vanilla, Chocolate, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Double Fudge Brownie, Java Chip and Mint Chip – are hitting select grocery and retail stores in 14-oz. containers.
All varieties are made with ultra-filtered milk for a creamy texture and delicious taste. Depending on the flavor, fairlife Light Ice Cream packs 8 or 9 grams of high-quality protein, with half the fat, 40% less sugar and 40% less calories than traditional ice cream. All are lactose-free and are crafted with natural flavors and sweeteners. They have no artificial preservatives, colors or growth hormones.
The launch brings a differentiated offering to the $14 billion ice cream category and meets growing demand for “better-for-you” dairy desserts.
Doelman – an ice cream industry veteran – notes that while the “healthier” ice cream segment is crowded with products with less sugar and more protein than traditional offerings, the missing ingredient until now has been taste.
“Repeat purchase rate with many of these competitive products is low due to disappointing taste,” he said. “fairlife stands for great nutrition and great taste, and our milk production process allows us to do things others can’t. Both our consumers and our retail customers are incredibly excited about what we’re bringing to market.”
He adds that while fairlife is not an ice cream company, its team has more than 40 years of combined experience in ice cream development.
To help bring the new brand to market, fairlife partnered with Boardwalk Frozen Treats, a company with extensive experience in the sales, marketing, and distribution of national ice cream brands. “The Boardwalk team knows the ice cream route to market and how to sell in and promote a new brand like ours better than anyone in the business,” said Bill Kelly, chief marketing officer, fairlife. “Distribution and insights-driven marketing are critical in this category, and we couldn’t have found a better partner.”
David Owens, CEO Boardwalk Frozen Treats, added, “As a pioneer in the dairy industry, fairlife has consistently introduced a variety of innovative, milk-based products that have strong nutrition profiles and taste great. We knew the new line of fairlife light ice cream would be no different, and we’re proud to align with them as they make this leap.”
The relationship will be similar to the collaboration between The Coca‑Cola Company and its network of independent bottling partners, Doelman noted. “We’ll provide the base formulation to Boardwalk, who will complete the freezing and production process before packaging the ice cream and delivering it to retail customers across the country,” he said.
The line could eventually extend to novelties – popsicles, cones, ice cream sandwiches and the like – which continue to grow in popularity as consumers reach for single-serve, portion-controlled indulgences.
The launch of fairlife® Light Ice Cream is the latest in a series of category-crossing innovations for the brand. The fairlife portfolio recently welcomed fairlife® creamer and fairlife nutrition plan®, both made with ultra-filtered milk.
Creamers are growing in step with the coffee category. As sales of premium coffee continue to spike, java lovers are looking to enrich – not mask or overpower – the taste of their beloved brew.
fairlife® creamer offers 40% less sugar than other creamers on the market today, most of which lean heavily on indulgent flavors and are made with oils, milk derivatives and artificial ingredients. “As people trade up in the quality of their coffee, they want to trade up in the quality of their creamer,” Doelman said.
Four varieties – Hazelnut, Caramel, Vanilla and Sweet Cream – feature subtle hints of flavor to complement the rich taste of coffee. The creamers are available in 16-oz. bottles in the refrigerated dairy aisle.
Following a successful test launch in select markets, fairlife nutrition plan® shakes are now available nationally at all Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club locations. They are designed to satisfy hunger and help consumers pursue sustainable health goals with the nutrition they need.
Unlike Core Power®, a sports nutrition protein shake specially formulated to support the post-workout recovery of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, fairlife nutrition plan is a ready-to-drink meal replacement option. Available in Chocolate and Vanilla, the shakes are sold in 12-packs of 11.5-oz. bottles.
fairlife nutrition plan contains only 30 grams of protein, 150 calories, 2 grams of sugar and 1.5 grams of saturated fat, plus eight essential vitamins and minerals and 60% of the recommended daily value of calcium. The product is pasteurized using high temperatures to allow for a long shelf life (once opened, it has the same longevity as ordinary milk).
“To get down to only 2 grams of sugar while offering 30 grams of protein and great taste is a game-changer for this category,” Doelman said. “Initial feedback and sales have been incredible, and we can’t wait to bring it to additional channels.”
In other fairlife news, fairlife YUP!® added Cookies & Creamiest to its lineup of decadently flavored, ultra-filtered milks. YUP! also introduced a new package design to emphasize its brand identity and reinforce its flavor-forward focus.
Core Power® recently welcomed Strawberry to its growing collection of ready-to-drink high protein shakes in the Core Power Elite® line designed for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want a boost of protein to support their post-workout recovery. The line delivers 42 grams of complete protein in each 14-oz. bottle, with nine essential amino acids and only seven or eight grams of sugar.