Miyoko Schinner’s vegan empire continues to expand into new food categories, industries, and retailers every year. Most recently, her vegan cheese brand Miyoko’s Creamery partnered with Seattle-based ice cream brand Frankie & Jo’s to develop Miyoko’s Butter Toffee & Chocolate ice cream flavor. The seasonal product will be available to ship nationwide through the brand’s website until November 2 and in-person at Frankie & Jo’s Seattle locations.
The collaborative vegan ice cream flavor features a creamy caramel base blended with bite-sized butter toffee bars made with Miyoko’s European-Style Cultured Vegan Butter and dipped in dairy-free dark chocolate. Miyoko’s Creamery previously solely produce cheeses and butter, rarely venturing into other plant-based categories. The partnership marks the first time the vegan giant has worked with dairy-free ice cream.
“We are so excited by our collaboration with Frankie & Jo’s. They came to us with the idea to create a seasonal ice cream featuring Miyoko’s European Style Cultured Vegan Butter—and Miyoko’s Butter Toffee & Chocolate was born, perfect for the fall,” Schinner told VegNews. “We couldn’t be more excited about the outcome of this delicious flavor. Partnering with like-minded brands who are on the same mission to inspire, do good, and use plants creatively in foods is how we grow this community and create the future of food.”
The Seattle-based ice cream company claims to have always admired Miyoko’s Creamery’s contributions to the vegan world, inspiring the company to incorporate one of its products. Frankie & Jo’s development team set out to create a candy bar ice cream and stumbled upon the idea to create a vegan toffee using the signature vegan butter. The result is the company’s seasonal flavor for October.
“After testing other vegan butter for a chocolate-covered toffee inclusion in our ice cream, we decided that Miyoko’s Creamery made the perfect version that was up to our standards,” Frankie & Jo’s CEO and co-owner Kari Brunson told VegNews. “We reached out to see if they were interested in partnering with us, and Miyoko herself was able to taste the ice cream and give it her stamp of approval, and our partnership was born.”
Launched in 2014, Schinner started her plant-based operation to push the vegan dairy industry to the next level, introducing several cheeses that could be elevated on the market. Earlier this year, Schinner launched “Wine Country 2.0” to introduce vegan cheese into the wine world. The campaign aims to reinvent the wine and food experience in North Carolina, entering a market otherwise untapped by the vegan industry.
Miyoko’s Creamery’s several breakthroughs among the cheese and butter categories with the central mission to prove that plant-based dairy is and should be categorized as dairy. Facing backlash from the animal dairy industry, the State of California demands that Schinner and Miyoko’s Creamery stop labeling its products as “butter,” “lactose-free,” “cruelty-free,” and “cheese.” Last year, a US district court sided with Miyoko’s Creamery setting a precedent that plant-based companies deserve to be considered within the dairy industry.
Miyoko’s foray into the dairy-free ice cream sector comes on the heels of its most recent investment package where the company secured $52 million. The Series C funding package is dedicated to supporting the company’s future product development. The vegan brand announced that it would hire an additional 10 research and development employees to enhance its plant-based product portfolio. Following its inaugural dairy-free ice cream debut, this could be a precedent to future Miyoko’s expansion.