‘Not afraid of being copied’: The Brooklyn Creamery targets Oman with ‘guilt-free’, vegan ice cream
Having started as an ice cream parlour in US in 2015, The Brooklyn Creamery is manufactured in UAE under private label arrangements with Pure Ice Cream Co, for the Middle East and Asian markets.
Oman is its fifth market after UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and Singapore. The products will be available in Lulu hypermarkets initially before rolling out into Nesto Hypermarkets and Sultan Centre outlets.
The firm first launched its low calorie ice cream range in UAE last April, followed by the vegan range in June.
Products were first introduced online through food and grocery delivery apps such as Deliveroo and Talabat, Souq Planet, BiOrganic, Green App, FreshOnTable, and Organic & Real.
Almost a year after the launch, sales have grown 250% this quarter, compared to the same quarter last year.
According to Vasco Sousa, chief innovation office, it was a challenging period, and learning experience, as the firm had to launch through online channels.
“We had to launch online first in UAE last year because of the pandemic and strict lockdown restrictions. Now, even though we are still in the pandemic, people are able to go out and buy from supermarkets.”
This year, the firm has plans to enter modern trade (supermarkets) in the UAE and is looking for partners.
In December last year, it also launched in Saudi Arabia through Lulu hypermarket. In Singapore, the products are selling on online supermarket chain Fairprice.
In Oman, the plan is to sell through supermarkets first with the low-calorie range, followed by the vegan ice cream line.
According to Sousa, “People (in Oman) are used to buying day-to-day necessities especially food from modern trade instead of online. For ice cream, online is not an immediate decision for many consumers.
“So, in Oman we decided to create awareness of the brand first in the supermarkets and then move into a broader distribution of the products through online, and e-grocers.”
Its low-calorie range contains 50% less calories, 60% less fat, and no added sugar compared to traditional ice creams brands.
“We are the first, if not, one of the first companies in the world, providing healthy solutions for ice cream.
“In UAE, we introduced for the first time, those healthy ice cream that is also produced locally. There will be companies copying those products but we are always one step ahead, creating more solutions.
“We are driven by the health and wellness trend, which was only further accelerated during the pandemic.”
It recently also introduced a new range of non-vegan ice cream called Mood Boosters.
“It uses ingredients that have an impact on your emotions. For example, chocolates and bananas bring happiness, while chamomile, blueberries and lavender give a calmness effect.”
Another range the firm developed is the vegan line, made from coconut milk and almond milk. Within this range, there is a fruit pop series, which contains about 60% of fruits.
It also launched a vegan ice cream stick: “We picked the popular vegan ice creams flavours available in pint version and coated them with vegan chocolate.
“We are always coming with innovative products to meet consumers demands, we're not afraid of being copied.”
Watch the video to find out more.
In the product development lab, what Sousa calls the Ice Cave, the firm has been working on several ideas, including high protein ice cream and products to cover the keto diet needs.
The company sources its ingredients globally, and Sousa said the firm was exploring utilising local ingredients to create local treats that consumers are familiar with.
The company is also eyeing an expansion into Europe, although immediate focus is on the Middle East market.