Estiu, manufacturer of Mercadona's ice cream mochi, jumps to vegan ice cream

14/10/2021 – 18:55

The Valencian ice cream manufacturer Helados Estiu, a Mercadona supplier, will launch its second major product brand aimed at a specialized niche after the success of the specific line that he created for the ‘mochis’, the ice cream based on the Japanese dessert.

After three years of development and fine-tuning, the Valencian company of the Flix family has created the Vawaii brand to position itself in the vegan ice cream segment, made with vegetable products and without milk, also called plantbased en ingls.

Mara Jos Flix, CEO of Helados Estiu, explained that this launch has been the product of a previous failure. “Eight years ago we launched our first product plantbased, a bonbon. It is sold reasonably, but I end up disappearing from the market “, among other reasons for the use of milk as the main raw material in its factory.” In its day it was a failure for me because we did not maintain it, because the market has gone a long way, but we did not know how to continue, “he pointed out during his speech in ftalks Food Summit, the meeting on food innovation of KM Zero Food Innovation Hub held in Valencia.

The CEO of Estiu highlighted that in this case they have decided to bet on being the best. Precisely one of the keys to launching this product has been the construction of its new silver in Cheste, where it invested 31 million euros, which allow it to have specific lines for vegan items. In fact, in his line of ‘mochis’, baptized as Wao Mochi, he already has some vegan references.

Precisely the success of this line, which has allowed it to leap internationally, is the model it seeks to exploit to diversify its business beyond Mercadona. Exports represent 5% of its sales, which reached 75 million euros in 2020. Vawaii’s new line includes flavors such as banana, chocolate, strawberry, mango or vanilla.

Degn explained Flix, the commitment to innovation is one of the keys to the strong growth of the refrigerator. Its new launches since 2018 account for 28% of its current sales.

Importaco and the probiotics

Another of the participants in the meeting was Antonio Pons, President of Importaco, who highlighted the commitment to the group’s probiotic nuts. “With the covid, the consumption of products related to health and the product to consume at home soared,” he pointed out.

But beyond the consequences of the pandemic, he urged not to be carried away by closed ideas to innovate. “6 or 7 years ago we did not imagine that the consumer would want to eat raw almonds and cashews, today they are our top products,” said the manager in light of the trend for healthier and more natural products.

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