USA – Consumer goods giant Unilever has entered the animal-free dairy sector through a partnership with Perfect Day, introducing a lactose-free chocolate frozen dairy dessert under the Breyers brand.

This collaboration utilizes Perfect Day’s innovative approach to produce whey protein through microbial fermentation, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional dairy.

The “animal-free frozen dairy dessert” is set to be available nationwide starting this month, marking a significant move for Unilever into the growing market of alternative proteins.

This product launch follows a limited edition introduction by Nestlé under the Orgain brand, featuring whey protein from fermentation, showcasing the industry’s shift toward innovative and sustainable solutions.

Perfect Day, which has raised nearly $900 million since its founding in 2014, has been a key player in developing animal-free dairy technologies.

The company recently sold its consumer brands, including Brave Robot and Coolhaus, to focus on its B2B business and establish partnerships with large consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies like Unilever.

The move is expected to be closely watched by the industry, as major CPG companies explore consumer responses to animal-free dairy on larger, more familiar brands.

Companies like Mars, Nestlé, and General Mills have tested the waters with niche or custom animal-free dairy brands, with varied success.

Perfect Day’s CEO TM Narayan emphasized the collaboration’s significance in driving growth through partnerships aligned with a sustainable and ethical mission.

The product launch with Unilever under the Breyers brand is seen as a hallmark example of such collaborations in Perfect Day’s second decade.

The Unilever/Breyers frozen dairy dessert is made using whey protein produced through fermentation, a process that avoids traditional animal agriculture.

The product will be available at retailers nationwide, with a suggested retail price for a 48-ounce tub ranging from US$4 to US$8.

While Nestlé’s Orgain product features the term “fermented whey isolate,” Unilever’s Breyers product uses the term “animal-free dairy” on the front-of-pack.

The Unilever product is the first multinational ice cream and frozen dessert brand to offer an indulgence with whey protein from fermentation.

This development aligns with the broader trend of creating dairy products without relying on traditional farming methods, addressing sustainability and ethical concerns associated with industrialized animal agriculture.

Perfect Day’s technology uses synthetic biology, utilizing DNA sequences to program organisms like fungi and yeast to express animal proteins.

 

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