History of Soy Ice Cream and Other Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts (1899-2013)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-59-4

Publication Date: 2013 Oct. 1

Number of References in Bibliography: 1838

Earliest Reference: 1899

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Background and context:

      Soy ice cream is largely a United States phenomenon. This is not surprising. The USA has the world’s largest per capita consumption of (dairy) ice cream. As a result of the U.S. counterculture and vegetarian movements of the 1960s and 1970s, America was home to a large number of entrepreneurs with new ideas. And the number of Americans who keep a kosher diet has long been very large. Kosher rules say that one cannot eat meat and dairy products at the same meal; hence an interest in developing non-dairy products.
      Moreover, the soyfoods movement originated in the United States in the early 1970s, and by the end of this decade was steadily developing momentum. Many of the entrepreneurs who developed soy ice creams were involved with other soyfoods before they branched out into soy ice creams and other non-dairy frozen desserts.
 
Brief chronology of soy ice cream and other non-dairy frozen desserts.
 
1899 – Almeda Lambert, a Seventh-day Adventist of Battle Creek, Michigan, in her Guide for Nut Cookery (452 p.), publishes the world’s earliest known recipes for non-dairy ice creams: Ice cream (made of almond or peanut cream). Ice cream made of peanut milk. Almond ice cream.
 
1918 March – Arao Itano of Japan is the world’s first person to conceive of making an ice cream from soy. In an article titled “Soy beans as human food, in the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 182 he states “Vegetable butter, ice cream, oil (table use) and lard (cooking): The manufacture of these articles from soy beans further investigation.”
 
1921 April – At a meeting of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, George Washington Carver, a professor at the Tuskegee Institute, “astonished both the members and spectators with visible proof that he can manufacture one hundred and forty-five different foods and useful articles, including milk and cream, from peanuts.” From it he has also made ice cream, which he says was the finest he ever tasted (St. Louis Globe Democrat, April 3, p. 3).
 
1922 Nov. 28 – Lee Len Thuey, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, is the world’s first person to be issued a patent for a soy ice cream. Titled “Frozen confection and process of making same,” he filed the application on 18 Oct. 1920. It was made from tofu, flavoring, and a sweetener.
 
1930 Sept. – The term “soybean ice cream” first appears in the Proceedings of the American Soybean Association (p. 3-6). At 12:00 noon a “special soybean lunch” was served at the University of Illinois South Farm, prepared by ladies of the First M.E. Church. The desserts were “soybean ice cream, and soybean ice.”
 
1930 – The world’s first commercial soy ice cream is introduced by Jethro Kloss, a Seventh-day Adventist, at Takoma Park Station, Washington, DC. Named Soy Ice Cream and honey sweetened, it is sold in strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla flavors. He named his company the Scientific Food & Benevolent Association. By 1934 he was serving his soy ice cream at his lectures in Florida (Miami Daily News, 1934, April) and in 1935 he included a recipe for soy “Ice cream” (non-dairy; made with “4 qts. Soy bean milk”) in his herbal classic Back to Eden (p. 105).
 
1930s early – Henry Ford’s soy researchers, Robert Boyer and Edsel Ruddiman, develop an experimental soy ice cream at Greenfield Village in Detroit, Michigan. It is based on fresh tofu curds and soy protein isolates. By August 1935 Henry Ford was serving soy ice cream for dessert at VIP and press luncheons held at the Ford Engineering Laboratory in Dearborn (Literary Digest 1935 July 27; Simonds 1938; Strother 1961).
 
1936 – Vetose Nutritional Laboratories in Shanghai, China (run by Dr. Harry W. Miller and his son, Willis, both Seventh-day Adventists), starts to sell soy ice cream in small quantities (Raymond Moore, 1961, p. 182).
 
1945 April 16 – The term “frozen dessert” is first used in connection with soy in an article titled “Who’s who and why” (about Herbert Marshall Taylor and Delsoy), by Fred L. Olmsted, published in the Detroit News (p. 4).
 
1945 – The modern term “soy ice cream” first appears in that remarkable book The Useful Soybean: A Plus Factor in Modern Living, by Mildred Lager of Southern California. In her “recipe” for “Soy ice cream” (p. 250) she notes that “Soy milk may be used in place of regular milk in ice-cream recipes.”
 
1946 March – The word “dairylike” first appears in connection with soy in an article titled “Imitation or improvement? Dairy ‘replacement’ products widening market, seeking to equal margarine’s success,” by Lawrence E. Doherty in Food Business (p. 22-23, 56).
 
1951 – Robert Rich, founder of Rich Products Corporation of Buffalo, New York, introduces Chill-Zert – a non-dairy soy ice cream (Buffalo Evening News, 1952). Rich had learned how to make soymilk from Henry Ford’s researchers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration seized the product, claiming that it should be labeled “imitation chocolate ice cream.” Rich Products fought back, in state after state, and eventually won. All subsequent makers of non-dairy ice cream owe Robert Rich a huge debt of gratitude.
 
1968 May – In their classic vegan cookbook, A Good Cook – Ten Talents, Frank and Rosalie Hurd (both Seventh-day Adventists; he is a Doctor of Chiropractic) have five recipes for non-dairy ice creams, one in which “rich soy milk” is an ingredient and four in which “soy milk powder” is an optional ingredient.
 
1969 Aug. – The term “non-dairy frozen dessert” first appears in an article titled “How to make parevine,” by Wendell S. Arbuckle in the American Dairy Review.
 
1971 – Heller Enterprises of New York launches Heller’s Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert, perhaps the first commercially successful non-dairy frozen dessert based on isolated soy proteins.
 
1976 Aug. – A new wave of interest in soy ice creams begins with the introduction of Ice Bean by Farm Foods in San Rafael, California. Developed at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, it was soon sold nationwide.
 
1979 summer – Pesach Lazaroff introduces David Mintz to tofu. That summer Lazaroff spent more than 100 hours working with Mintz as a consultant.
 
1980 July – Jolly Licks Ice-C-Bean is introduced by Mark Brawerman of San Francisco, California. Marketed and distributed by Jolly Licks, it is sold in six flavors. Later that month the product name is changed to simply Jolly Licks and the name of the marketer-distributor is changed to Pacific Trading Co. In Nov. 1982 Pacific Trading Co. was renamed Living Lightly.
 
1980 Dec. – Farm Foods starts a national ad campaign for Soy Ice Bean with full-page color ads in national magazines: New Age, Whole Foods, East West Journal, and Vegetarian Times.
 
1981 Aug. – Tofutti is first sold at Mintz’s Buffet, a kosher Jewish deli on Third Ave. in Manhattan’s chic Upper East Side. Developed by David Mintz (and Pesach Lazaroff) this was the product that made soy ice creams famous and attracted huge amounts of free media publicity. Tofutti was first sold in this deli as a soft-serve non-dairy frozen dessert in 9 flavors. During the previous two months it had been sold in the deli under other names: Tofu Time Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (the first flavor was carrot-raisin), then Tofu Time Tofu Ice Kream.
 
1982 June – Farm Foods presents Ice Bean at the American Booksellers Convention in Anaheim, California.
 
1982 July – The term “Dairy free” first appears in a leaflet titled “Tofutti: Dairy free,” created by Mintz’s Buffet of New York City.
 
1982 – Tofutti begins to be sold outside Mintz’s deli in New York City, including at a number of the city’s most stylish eateries – such as Bloomingdale’s and Zabar’s.
 
1983 April – Rice Dream, a non-dairy frozen dessert based on amazake (cultured rice) in launched in 3 flavors in pints by Gloria Gilbert, owner of Fresh Foods, in Boulder, Colorado. The product had been developed in 1980 (non-commercially) by Barbara Svenning and Marty Roth in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They sold their business, Community Kitchens, to Gloria. Steve Demos of White Wave in Boulder made Gloria’s Rice Dream. It was on the market for only 3-6 months. On 10 Feb. 1984 Robert Nissenbaum (who was already making amazake) purchased the name Rice Dream from Gloria for $2,000.
 
1983 June – The world’s first non-dairy ice cream sandwich is launched by Farm Foods of Summertown, Tennessee. Made of Ice Bean (soy ice cream) sandwiched between two carob coated honey wafers, it comes in three flavors: Honey Vanilla, Carob, or Peanut Butter.
 
1983 Aug. – Robert Tepper of Farm Foods serves Ice Bean soymilk ice cream at the annual American Soybean Association (ASA) convention in Nashville, Tennessee. A special presentation is made to 40 regional overseas ASA directors and officials
 
1983 – Sales of Tofutti expand ten-fold. David Mintz establishes a new corporation named Tofu Time Inc. On 8 Dec. 1983 Tofu Time Inc. raises $2.76 million net in its first public stock offering.
 
1983 – The United States leads the world in annual per capita consumption of (dairy) ice cream with 44.13 pints per person. Australia is second with 37.21 pints (down by 15.7%), followed by New Zealand (35.87), Canada (31.88, and Sweden (28.57) (International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers. 1984. The Latest Scoop. Aug.).
 
1984 – Tofutti mania spreads across America. Tofutti hits the big time, with huge amounts of free media publicity. Rising to national stardom, it became (to everyone's astonishment) America's number one dessert craze. Sales of Tofutti skyrocketed to $9 million in fiscal 1984 (which ended July 31).
 
1984 June – Robert Nissenbaum of Imagine Foods Inc., of Moniteau Farm, Jamestown, Missouri, introduces Rice Dream, a non-dairy frozen dessert based on amazake (cultured rice) made in the traditional way. A truly amazing product, it contains no refined sweeteners and no added oil or fat; most of its sweetness comes from the natural sweetness of amazake, but small amounts of Grade A maple syrup are also added. Imagine Foods soon begins advertising and promoting the product widely. By Oct. 1984 it was sold in 7 hard pack and 4 soft serve flavors.
 
1984 – In the United Kingdom, the first soy ice cream is Sojal Frozen Non-Dairy Dessert. It was developed and marketed by John Holt of the Regular Tofu Co. Ltd. and made in Leicester, England, by Rossa Ltd., a dairy ice cream company. In May 1984 this same company introduced SoyBoy Soymilk Ices, then in June 1985 Sojal Light. Michael Cole was one of the salesmen for this company. Cole then left and went to work for Soya Foods Ltd.
 
1985 Feb. – Barricini Foods Inc. (Oyster Bay, New York) launches Tofulite (a soy ice cream); it is made in Tennessee by Farm Foods.
 
1985 May 31 – Farm Foods (Summertown, Tennessee), maker of Ice Bean, is acquired by Barricini Foods Inc.
 
1985 – In fiscal 1985 sales of Tofutti soar to a record $17.1 million. Tofu Time is one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street.
      By the summer of 1985 at least 26 brands of soy ice cream (many of them with "Tofu" in the product name) are on the market in the USA.
      The boom years for soy ice cream in America were 1984-1988. When the craze died down, four national brands were left: Tofutti, Ice Bean, Tofulite, and Mocha Mix.
 
1985 July – Michael Cole, in England, introduces Sunrise Ice Dream, which quickly became a huge success nationwide. Initially the product was made in Clywd, Wales, by Classic Ices – which was then owned by the Hillsdown Holdings Group. Later in 1985 the founder of Classic Ices, Ray Pierce, and the technical manager, Irene Barclay, leave Classic Ices and start a company named Genice Foods Ltd. (pronounced JEN-ais, also in Clwyd, Wales) to specialize in making non-dairy products.
 
1986 Feb. – Barricini Foods has its first public stock offering which raises $1.5 million gross, to use for marketing Tofulite and Ice Bean soy ice creams.
 
1986 April – Genice’s first product is Genice Ice Delight. In 1986 the manufacture of Sunrise Ice Dream was transferred to Genice from Classic Ices. Today Genice is the largest maker of soy ice creams in the UK and Europe. In April 1989 Genice became a member of the Haldane Foods Group.
 
1992 – Living Lightly (Light Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert) is introduced by Mark Brawerman and distributed by Turtle Mountain, Inc. of Junction City, Oregon. Sold in pints, it is available in 10 flavors. Sweetened with fruit juices, they contain no added fat. In 1994 the brand was changed to Living Rightly.
 
1996 – The best-selling non-dairy ice creams in natural- and health food stores are now Rice Dream, Tofutti, and Living Rightly.
 
2001 July – Purely Decadent Soy Delicious – the world’s first super-premium non-dairy frozen dessert (high in calories and oil) – is introduced by Turtle Mountain, Inc. in seven flavors.
 
2004 March - Soy Delicious is now the best-selling brand of ice cream (both dairy and non-dairy) in the natural foods channel in the USA.
 
2005 April 15 – Mark Brawerman, founder of Turtle Mountain, Inc., signs a national distribution agreement with Dryer’s Ice Cream. That same year he changes changes the company's brand on all its products to So Delicious Dairy Free from Soy Delicious. And he brings in an investor to obtain the capital needed to expand its manufacturing capacity.
 
2006 late – Turtle Mountain opens the world’s first dairy-free ice cream plant in Springfield, Oregon; it makes only ice cream sandwiches – no mix.
 
2008 April – Turtle Mountain, Inc. starts to ship coconut milk non-dairy frozen dessert to Whole Foods and distributors nationwide.
 
2008 May/June – Turtle Mountain, Inc. opens the world’s first dairy-free ice cream plant that makes the basic mix, in Springfield, Oregon.
 
2012 May – Update on Tofutti Brands Inc., which is struggling. Net sales for 2011 were $15.926 million, down 11.1% from the previous year. Net income was $43,000, down 90.7% from $462,000 the previous year. Despite this 90% drop in profits, the salary paid to CEO Mintz is unchanged at $450,000.
 
2013 – Turtle Mountain’s net sales of non-dairy products this year will exceed $100 million, about 38% of which is non-dairy frozen desserts, followed by beverages, cultured products (mostly like yogurt), and non-dairy creamers (the smallest segment). Since 2006, net sales have increased, on average, by more than 30% a year – and much of this during the “Great Recession.” The company now employs 175 people.
 
 
The many names of non-dairy frozen desserts
 

   (useful for digital searching)

 

 

 

 
Almond milk frozen dessert
Amasake frozen dessert
Amazake frozen dessert
Amasake ice cream
Amazake ice cream
Dairy-free frozen dessert
Dairy-free ice cream
Coconut milk frozen dessert
Dairyless frozen dessert
Dairyless ice cream
Dairylike
Frozen soy
Frozen tofu
Imitation ice cream
Mellorine
Milkless frozen confection
Nondairy frozen dessert
Non-dairy frozen dessert
Nondairy tofu frozen dessert
Non-dairy tofu frozen dessert
Parevine
Rice Dream
Soy acidophilus ice cream
Soya frozen dessert
Soya ice cream
Soybean milk ice cream
Soybean ice cream
Soy Delicious
Soymilk frozen dessert
Soymilk ice cream
Soy ice cream
Tofu ice cream
Tofutti


 

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