Ben & Jerry’s has launched a vegan version of its iconic Phish Food flavor in the UK.
The popular ice cream company, which offers a wide variety of vegan options alongside its traditional dairy products, stated that the flavor is getting “the non-dairy encore it deserves.”
Phish Food is a chocolate ice cream with marshmallow swirls, caramel, and fish-shaped chocolate chunks. The original flavor was created 25 years ago and has become one of the company’s most famous ice creams over the years.
“We’re so excited to be able to introduce a tub packed full of non-dairy deliciousness without compromising on any of the chunks and swirls that Phish Food is known for,” a spokesperson for the brand said in a statement.
A vegan version was released in the US in January 2021, but this is the first time consumers in the UK will be able to buy it.
Ben & Jerry’s embraces veganism
The new vegan Phish Food flavor is just the latest in a long line of plant-based offerings from Ben & Jerry’s.
The company, which is owned by Unilever, released its first-ever non-dairy ice cream in 2016.
The first flavors – Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, Coffee Caramel Fudge, Coffee with Fudge Chunks & Caramel Swirl, and P.B. & Cookies – were released in the US.
Since then, it has added a number of flavors to its portfolio, including Cherry Garcia, Americone Dream, and Caramel Almond Brittle.
The dairy-free market
The sharp rise in demand for non-dairy options can be largely attributed to the rise of veganism, as well as greater awareness of the ethical and environmental costs of dairy.
Cows farmed for their milk have their calves taken from them, and will often cry out in apparent distress for days afterward. As they have been selectively bred to produce more milk than they naturally would, they also sometimes suffer from mastitis, a painful udder inflammation.
Farming cows is also catastrophic for the environment. This is due to the vast amounts of land and resources they require, as well as the methane they emit when they burp.
According to the United Nations, animal agriculture contributes to at least 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock farming has also been responsible for around 91 percent of Amazon deforestation.
But the market for dairy alternatives has skyrocketed in recent years. Some experts predict the plant-based ice cream market will reach $1 billion by 2026.
Ben & Jerry’s new vegan Phish Food flavor is currently available to buy in Tesco, and there are plans to roll it out to other supermarkets next year.