The ice cream is made from pea proteins, hence is considered to be a plant-based product. Magnum boasts ‘the highest quality plant-based ingredients’ in the official press release, and emphasised that it has received certification from the New Zealand Vegan Association.
This means that: “For the first time ever, those who choose to follow a vegan lifestyle can now indulge in […] a Magnum,” added the company.
One of the priorities for this product is to maintain the taste of the original version, claiming to be ‘uncompromising on taste’ and still providing Magnum’s ‘signature cracking experience’.
“Magnum Dairy Free was developed so that the ice cream and chocolate contain no dairy ingredients, while still delivering the […] Magnum experience - It’s the same […] Magnum experience people love, but in an all new vegan format,” a spokeswoman for Magnum in New Zealand told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The product has already seen successful launches in some other countries, she added, saying that: “Magnum Dairy Free has been really well received in other markets like Sweden and Finland, [and we hope to replicate this success here].”
Until now, the vegan version of the ice cream has only been available in Sweden, Finland, Australia and the United Kingdom, according to Auckland Magazine.
New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich lauded the launch, telling us that: "The launch provides another exciting treat options for those who want to consume dairy-free desserts or follow a vegan diet.
"There is growing interest in plant-based products and the launch of the new Magnum is part of this trend."
Magnum Dairy Free will be available in New Zealand from February 18 in its two signature flavours: Classic and Almond.
Retail locations include Pak 'N Save, New World, Countdown, and convenience stores, at NZ$3.90 each and NZ$6.99 for a three-multipack.
Other ice creams going vegan
Magnum is not the only confectionary brand in the region that has opted to go with a dairy-free option.
Cornetto, also owned by Unilever, has also recently launched a vegan option in Australia, with ice cream that is soy-based and chocolate that is dairy-free, according to LiveKindly.
The company claimed that the ability to use soy-based ice cream and still keep Cornetto’s signature ‘smooth ice cream texture’ is a result of 50 years of recipe-perfecting.
That said, MessyVeggies stated that the wafer cone of the vegan Cornetto is not gluten-free, although the version launched in the United Kingdom previously is.
Ben & Jerry’s Australia also launched a non-dairy version of its ice cream in Australia in 2017, made from almonds. At present, its website lists nine different non-dairy flavours.
Why New Zealand for vegan?
New Zealand is a logical choice for Unilever to launch the vegan version of its signature ice cream as the Kiwi nation is one of the top-ranking globally in terms of veganism popularity.
An international listing based on Google Trends data ranked New Zealand as third worldwide, behind only Australia and the United Kingdom.