"These two products are to really showcase and prove that we can be more than an ice cream brand and that we are a confectionery company," Greenfeld told FoodNavigator-USA, who added the development of its plant-based Crunch and Drip lines was three years in the making.
Dream Pops came onto the scene with its plant-based frozen dessert pops in its signature geodesic shape and later extended into plant-based Bites, a line of poppable chocolate covered ice cream snacks made with coconut cream instead of dairy milk.
The company's frozen treats products have generated steady traction in the market growing from approximately 1,500 stores in 2020 to over 4,500 stores currently and on track to enter over 5,500 stores by the end of Q1 2022.
"The Pops and the Bites have been selling very well both in the US and Canada. We’re actually the second-fastest growing plant-based novelty in the country with over 636% year-over-year growth and very exciting velocities on shelf," said Greenfeld, citing recent SPINS data.
'I feel like everyone has gone after the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup...'
Now the brand is launching its play into the shelf-stable confectionery category, where consumers are increasingly searching for products with cleaner ingredient decks and more plant-based options, particularly in the chocolate set.
"We're trying to compete with some of the largest confectioners in the world... the Hersheys, Mars, and Ferreros. We want to rethink every dessert experience with 100% plant based ingredients," said Greenfeld.
According to consumer research by chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut, 60% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 44 expect confectionery brands to offer a plant-based option while nearly three-quarters (74%) said they eat plant-based chocolate occasionally, up from 25% two years ago. Additionally, over one-third (34%) of consumers are willing to pay more for a plant-based confectionery option, Barry Callebaut found.
'We want to rethink every dessert experience with 100% plant based ingredients'
Debuting at the 2022 Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, California, Dream Pops is unveiling six SKUs of chocolate-coated plant-based candy bites made with coconut sugar, cocoa butter, and cacao, along with its plant-based superfood Drip syrups line. Each flavor of its Crunch line-- Berry Dreams, Vanilla Sky, Birthday Cake, Banana Cream, Mint Chip, and Cookie Dough -- is based off of research from the brand's top performers in its frozen Bites line, said Greenfeld.
"We used data from our frozen bites to help us with these flavors and SKUs, Vanilla Sky is our No. 1 performer, but I will say the Banana Cream is incredible," he said.
Packaged in a 3.5-ounce shareable bags, Dream Pops Crunch features a crunchy, crispy center made from coconut sugar, cocoa butter, and coconut cream and coated in dark chocolate free from confectioners glaze and lecithin meant to emulate specific legacy candy favorites such as Whoppers Malted Milk Balls and Butterfinger, explained Greenfeld.
"I feel like everyone has gone after the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and the chocolate bar, while the malted milk ball and the Butterfinger have really been untouched," he said.
The Crunch line will be available on the brand's new DTC site launching next month and on Amazon as well as very select brick-and-mortar locations where Greenfeld envisions the products sitting alongside Lily's Sweets and Justin's Nut Butter Cups.
For its new Drip line, Greenfeld saw an untapped opportunity to reimagine products such as Hershey's syrup and other sugary liquid toppings, which contain a laundry list of artificial ingredients, gums, and preservatives, he said. Dream Pops Drip syrup products -- available in chocolate, caramel, and strawberry -- are all made from a coconut nectar base and boosted with Baobab extract, an antioxidant-rich superfruit.
"Once again we are trying to prove that we are more than just an ice cream brand, we’re a confectionery company. These are superfood syrups that you can put in your plant milk, smoothie bowl, or on top of Dream Pops. It’s a fun take on the syrups, condiments, and milk modifiers section, because there's just nothing new there," he added.