Looking for a chicer treat this summer? Look no further than Dream Pops. The delicious frozen dessert that is reinventing the way we think about ice-cream. The brand was born and is based in LA and is the first on the market to leverage proprietary technology, ergonomic design, a three-star Michelin chef and plant-based ingredients to re-craft traditional ice cream at less than 100 calories per pop. You read that correctly!
The brand offers a frozen dessert option that is 100% plant-based, dairy, gluten and soy-free and infused with superfoods such as coconut blossom sugar, creamy tapioca and more, making it possible for you to snack on your favorite sweet treat without the overindulgence that often occurs with larger, traditionally packaged ice creams.
Co-founder David Greenfeld first came up with the idea after spending late night after late night eating ice cream straight from the carton from his freezer. Thinking that there must be a healthier, easier way, Dream Pops was born. Since launch in 2016, the brand has grown exponentially, striking partnerships with the likes of Starbucks and Whole Foods, with no plans of stopping.
What was the original inspiration for Dream Pops? DAVID GREENFELD: The initial inspiration for Dream Pops came from a personal need. As a former investment banker with an indomitable sweet tooth, I would spend countless late nights in my cubicle snacking on all sorts of indulgent ice cream products -- from Haagen Dazs bars to various pints of ice cream. I started to spend more time thinking consciously about what I was eating on a daily basis -- and began looking for better-for-you alternatives in the frozen dessert aisle. What I noticed was a serious lack of options and that most well-known ice cream brands had marginally innovated over the last few decades with offerings that were filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, bad fats and artificial flavors. In addition, the vegan options that did exist fell short and rarely delivered on the most important product attribute - taste. A trip to Cartagena, Colombia accelerated the spark when I came across beautifully branded paletas shops (the Spanish term for popsicle) on every corner and wondered why there was very little innovation in the novelty category. I called my childhood friend David Cohen, who had experience in the food & beverage space -- and we began ideating and iterating on the concept of a next-generation snackable ice cream product. Recently after my trip, I was given the opportunity to move to Milan, Italy with the investment bank for 2 years and was immersed in a culture devoted to gelato. While there, I met our partners -- a renown food scientist and 3 star Michelin chef and together we teamed up to re-imagine ice cream for the next generation.
What's been the best part of building a brand? DG: This is without a doubt one of THE most emotionally, physically and financially taxing pursuits I have ever experienced in my life. Building a CPG business requires resilience, a rockstar team, grit, luck and a lot of capital -- especially in such a hyper-competitive environment. That being said, the most rewarding part has been the net impact -- seeing tens of thousands of individuals opting in for Dream Pops over their traditional ice cream brand and becoming genuine super-fans. Every day we receive emails and messages from customers who thank us for taking on big ice cream and creating a product that fits into their healthy lifestyles. I believe that if we can convince the general American public to trade away from some of the unhealthy options on the market and instead eat a plant-based alternative packed with superfoods and adaptogens, the net positive can be quite substantial. I think back to the decades I spent eating ice cream products that were effectively candy and believe a better-for-you substitute would have had a significant impact on my health over time.
Summer is Dream Pops season! What is the brand focusing on this season? DG: Dream Pops is focusing on collaboration across all verticals and popping up in alternative and unexpected channels. We see ourselves as a food company, a lifestyle brand and a content company and we are constantly eager to push the limits on where the brand can live and exist. Our long term goal is to create the Willy Wonka of plant-based desserts and confections. At the end of the day, anything is popsicle!
What's your favorite flavor? DG: My personal favorite is Chocolate Lion.
What would be a dream collaboration for Dream Pops? DG: Our dream collaboration would be with Pharell Williams.
What are you excited about this summer? DG: We are excited about our growth in 2019! We just launched in all Whole Foods locations in Southern California and are also available in over 300 retailers across NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Hawaii and Arizona. We look forward to scaling to over 1000 stores by the end of the year and getting Dream Pops in the hands of more people.