Innovative food brand Perfect Day is releasing a series of vegan gelatos and baked goods across the foodservice sector alongside the Italian dessert supplier Villa Dolce. The partnership plans to distribute seven new dairy-identical gelato flavors at universities, casinos, and hotels, across the US. The new gelato flavors and baked goods will employ Perfect Day’s animal-free cellular fermentation process to produce diary-identical dessert products that will meet the rising consumer demand for dairy-free food.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer our foodservice partners an option that can meet their need for sustainable, animal-free products, without compromising the taste and texture we are known for,” Villa Dolce CEO Monte Marcaccini said in a statement. “We’ve been looking for a solution that lives up the Villa Dolce name, and we’ve found it through Perfect Day.”
The partnership will release seven different gelato flavors including Chocolate all’Arancia, Strawberry After Dark, Burnt Caramel Praline, Pistachio Latte, Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Sea Salt Vanilla & Honeycomb, and Caramel Cold Brew. Alongside the vegan gelato, the company developed four vegan alternatives for classic dessert options such as Cookie Dough, Southern Brown Butter Cake, Lava Cake, and Pistachio cake.
The companies will distribute the new dairy-identical gelato and animal-free baked goods to 2,000 foodservice providers through Dot Foods – North America’s largest food redistributor. Villa Dolce currently works with several hotels, casinos, and universities across North America, and intends to begin distributing these vegan products to its clients. Some clients include Ocean Properties in Florida, Arizona State University, UCLA, and the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The vegan desserts will also appear as Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, becoming one of the inaugural casinos to feature this product.
Perfect Day’s signature dairy-identical products implement a process of cell replication to create a dairy product without any cows. The process of creating animal-free whey begins by inserting a cow’s DNA sequence into the company’s yeast-based microflora. The microflora is then used to incubate the original cells and eventually produce an abundance of cellularly fermented proteins. The final product is Perfect Day’s selection of “flora-based” dairy products that cannot be differentiated from conventional dairy foods.
The food technology company launched in 2014 when Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi decided to undercut the global dairy industry. In recent years, the company secured a $300 million funding round and hired Leonardo DiCaprio as a strategic advisor. The company used the funding and sponsorship to propel its dairy-identical products to the forefront of the vegan market. The cell-based dairy company is currently working to increase its distribution range and product selection.
The company’s new gelato ice cream will differ from its original ice cream selection in fat content and air content. Gelato typically contains less air and fat to achieve the specific texture, relying on milk proteins for its density. Perfect Day claims that its process will allow the company to produce a gelato that is indistinguishable from traditional dairy gelato, noting its difference from almond- or coconut-based alternatives.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Villa Dolce to create kinder, greener gelato and bakery products,” Perfect Day Global Head of Commercial Ravi Jhala in a statement. “With Villa Dolce’s broad reach to customers across the country and their premium products, this collaboration is ideal for our first foray into the foodservice space.”
Perfect Day’s animal-free whey production is completely slaughter-free, reducing the environmental costs of its production. The company also boasts that its development is overall a significant improvement to traditional dairy products. Perfect Day records that its flora-based product reduces water consumption by 99 percent, non-renewable energy consumption by 60 percent, and greenhouse gas emissions by 97 percent as compared to traditional dairy products.
Over recent years, Perfect Day’s dairy-identical products have gradually spread across the public market. In May 2020, the company partnered with artisan ice cream chain Smitten Ice Cream to release several vegan Smitten N’Ice Cream flavors. Some flavors featured include Fresh Strawberry, Root Beer Float, Coconut Pecan, and Brown Sugar Chocolate.
Beyond its foodservice involvement, the company’s animal-free whey is the main ingredient for vegan ice cream brand Brave Robot. The brand is the first product from The Urgent Company – the sustainable consumer food company founded by dairy product developer Paul Kollesoff in partnership with Perfect Day.
The brand initially revealed its vegan ice cream pints in the San Francisco Bay area and this year further expanded its retail distribution to 5,000 stores nationwide. The Brave Robot pints come in flavors such as PB ‘N Fudge, Vanilla ‘N Cookies, Raspberry White Truffle, Blueberry Pie, and Buttery Pecan.
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