Healthy alternative that really pays
We all love to treat ourselves to something sweet, regardless of what we read about the health implications it could yield. As the Government continues to ramp up the pressure on the food industry, popular fizzy drinks, chocolate and frozen consumables face a difficult future.
Ice cream in particular is a popular target for dieticians, who encourage us to consume as little as possible. Given the amount of business at stake you would think the big players of Ben and Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs would be leading the charge to make a healthy alternative, but a small start-up from California have somehow managed to muscle in on the industry, growing so quickly they now lead the market.
Halo Top, who launched in 2012 have turned a simple recipe created by owner Justin Woolverton into a US $2bn business. In 2016 the brand reported sales in excess of 28.8 million tubs, generating US $132.4m (£101m) in revenues, becoming the best-selling pint of ice cream in the US.
The recipe came off the back of Mr Woolverton’s drive to reduce his blood sugar levels, a difficult task given his sweet tooth. He had been concocting a sweet desert using Greek yogurt and the popular sweetener stevia. Having purchased a US $20 ice cream maker, he poured the mix into the machine and was surprised to find how tasty the final product was. He developed the recipe further substituting the Greek yoghurt for milk, and finally settled on an ice cream which boasts calories of around 320 per tub. To put that in perspective a similar size tub from major competitors has over 1,100.
The brand's road to success wasn’t easy with Mr Woolverton claiming the business was at times hanging on by a thread, as supermarkets looked to drop the product as a result of poor initial sales. Then, a well written article in GQ about how a journalist ate only Halo Top ice cream for 10 straight days, and a slick social media campaign gave the brand the traction it needed. Demand soon outstripped supply and the business grew exponentially.
The future certainly looks bright for Halo Top, with the brand moving to other territories across the globe. Despite some criticism about the brand's health credentials, and whether the product should even be labelled ice cream given its limited use of fatty milk seem to be having little effect. For now at least, Halo Top looks like a tough act to follow.