Vegetables in ice cream?
Häagen-Dazs Japan is introducing two limited-time ice cream flavors that blend fruit and vegetables.
Care for some carrots mixed with oranges?
How about tomatoes blended with cherries?
Spoon Vege – pronounced “veggie” – was introduced in Japan May 12 and will remain on the market through the end of the year.
Häagen-Dazs loosely based the idea on the vegetable-and-fruit dessert trend among Japanese restaurants, says Bela Schweiger, vice president of Häagen-Dazs Japan. More people are eating desserts that include premium vegetables.
“Vegetable and fruit desserts started to be featured in cafes and restaurants frequented by Häagen-Dazs Japan’s target market: women in their late 20s and early 30s,” says Bela. “So we looked at developing ice cream using a novel combination of ingredients.”
In development for two years, Spoon Vege comes in Carrot Orange and Tomato Cherry flavors. The mini-cups of ice cream will only be available in Japan.
Bela says Häagen-Dazs Japan wants to keep the product “fresh” in the mouths of consumers, so that’s why the two flavors will be available for a limited time. There are plans, however, to introduce more Spoon Vege flavors.
This is not the first time the Häagen-Dazs Japan has inserted vegetables into its ice cream. Two years ago, the brand launched Sweet Purple Potato ice cream, which became one of the most successful new products in the 30-year history of Häagen-Dazs Japan.
In selecting carrots and tomatoes for Spoon Vege’s inaugural flavors, Häagen-Dazs Japan sought vegetables that proved ideal matches with oranges and cherries.
“The sweetness of carrots and tomatoes balances well with the tartness of orange and cherry,” Bela says. “The two vegetables were picked and paired with the fruits to achieve the best marriage in taste.”
Häagen-Dazs Japan continues to consider a number of vegetable-and-fruit combinations for future Spoon Vege flavors. Examples of vegetables on that list include spinach, beets, broccoli, and a number of indigenous Japanese mountain vegetables.
Like the rest of the Häagen-Dazs Japan portfolio, Spoon Vege is made from milk produced in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture in Japan. The ice cream is manufactured in the country’s central-located Gunma prefecture at a factory operated by Takanashi Milk Co., one of General Mills’ joint venture partners in Häagen-Dazs Japan.
So far, 2014 has proven to be a memorable year for Häagen-Dazs Japan, which in August will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
To mark the anniversary, Häagen-Dazs Japan in February introduced two limited flavors made with flowers – cherry blossoms (sakura) and roses.
And last month, Häagen-Dazs Japan debuted two new ice cream flavors: Caramel Crush and White Peach Raspberry.