Established in the US, The Brooklyn Creamery is known for its ‘guilt-free’ ice cream which contains 50% less calories, 60% lower fat and 35% more protein compared to typical ice cream. It also carries a range of dairy-free vegan ice cream.
In June, the firm expanded into UAE, retailing through online food delivery apps.
Vikram Seth, CEO at The Brooklyn Creamery Middle East, told FoodNavigator-Asia: “UAE’s young and cosmopolitan population, the growing trend of international tourist visitors, hot climate and UAE’s desire to constantly evolve, all put together make us believe that the UAE is ready for The Brookyln Creamery.”
Commonly consumed as an indulgent treat, the firm believed it was possible to develop an ice cream product that provided the experience without the calories.
“People are more health conscious today, and we wanted to provide a treat that’s better for you, while satisfying that desire for a sweet treat that we all have from time to time.”
Seth pointed out there was an increase in awareness regarding the benefits of healthy foods such as no added sugar and free from artificial ingredients in the Middle East region. “The younger generation and millennials are more mindful of what they consume, driving the growth of healthier food alternatives.”
The firm uses plant-based ingredients such as maltitol and fructose oligo saccharide as a sweetening agent.
While there are a few brands, such as Halo Top also serving up healthier ice cream in UAE, Seth said these were mostly imported from the US, and The Brooklyn Creamery was the only locally produced low calorie ice cream brand in this region.
Its ice cream products are manufactured in Sharjah, UAE under private label arrangements with Pure Ice Cream Co.
The current halal-friendly line-up of flavours include Soho Berry, Chocoholic, Sea Salt Caramel, Sweet Caramel Vanilla and Cookies ‘n’ Cream.
Its low-calorie range (450ml) retail for AED 20 (US$5.45) and the vegan range (450ml) for AED 25 (US$6.80).
While online food delivery apps were its initial sales channel, the firm has recently launched in a few retail chains including Souq Planet in Abu Dhabi and the BiOrganic store in Dubai. It hopes to add more retail outlets over the next few months.
Seth told us: “In today’s digital age, consumers prefer convenience and also access to wide range of options available while ordering food online. Adding to this change, the current situation where health and safety is a major concern, consumers are turning to online food delivery apps. So, we decided to launch the products on the aggregator platforms like Deliveroo and Talabat first.”
The firm is also looking to expand into other Middle Eastern markets starting with Saudi Arabia and Oman.
With the firm choosing to launch in a new market under unprecedented pandemic conditions, there were some supply chain disruptions, however Seth said: “we were fortunate to build up our key inventories in time and have been gradually moving towards local sourcing some items which have helped.”
Besides UAE, the brand has also launched in India.