Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 8

challenge. Hemp was illegal to grow until
the end of 2018. So, there's not really a US
supply chain.
" Our initial challenge was, how do we
find ingredients that are neutral in taste
and functional? We've really been working
to find the best people who have the best
technology right now, and there's only
a few. I picked probably one of the most
obscure ingredients to use, but we've done
a ton of work on creating flavors that work
with the hemp profile. "
The brand also has encountered
resistance from retailers, hesitant to stock
hemp products on shelves, as well as confusion
among shoppers.
" Demoing in stores, when we were
commercial kitchen to sell at markets
around Cleveland. Soon after, the pair
snagged freezer space at specialty grocer
Heinen's. Less than three years later, the
brand has expanded to 400 stores, including
Sprouts Farmers Market nationwide,
Erewhon in Los Angeles and Jimbo's Naturally
in San Diego.
Wonderlab's Doozy Pots
flavors include coffee, banana
cinnamon date swirl, chocolate
raspberry swirl, vanilla bean,
coffee and cookies, and
chocolate mint chip. The
formulations are lower in
saturated fat and sugar
than most leading frozen
treats, Ms. Sutaria said.
" So many plant-based
are organic, regeneratively grown or fair
trade, and the packaging is produced with
certified renewable resources.
" We've definitely had some headwinds
in terms of using hemp, but it's a
crop we really believe in, " Ms. Sutaria said.
" The supply chain on hemp has been a
allowed to do that, people asked, 'Is this a
weed ice cream? Am I going to get high?
How am I going to feel? Am I going to be
able to pass a drug test?' " Ms. Sutaria said.
" There is so much confusion, and that creates
challenges for us as well as opportunities
for us to educate the consumer about
hemp grains and hemp foods and how
nutritious and sustainable they can be and
how they can be part of your diet. "
Another hurdle is digital advertising.
Facebook and Instagram historically have
censored or prohibited marketing for
hemp-based products, Ms. Sutaria said.
" Our packaging used to say 'made
Hemp seed oil
is a key ingredient in
Wonderlab's Doozy Pots,
a line of plant-based
frozen desserts.
alternative ice creams use coconut
milk or coconut oil, which is
great but also very high in saturated
fat, " she said. " I've developed a recipe
to mimic the blend of fats that
dairy cream has, so we use a blend
of hemp heart oil and a little bit of
cocoa butter to make it feel more
like a dairy cream, whereas coconut
milk is so heavy in saturated fats
that it sometimes leads to a heavier
eat. Our gelatos eat more like a traditional
gelato, which is made with
milk instead of cream. "
Sustainability is central to the
company's mission. All ingredients
Food Business News
with organic hemp' on the top, and if I put a
photo up and tried to run a paid ad and you
could see the word 'hemp' on the packaging,
it would be rejected, and we've
had our account shut down because
of it, " she said. " We've figured out
ways around it, but it's sad for us,
and it makes it harder. Our product
is no different than cashew milk ice
cream or a coconut milk ice cream,
but we can say a lot less about what
we're actually doing. "
In the year ahead, the founders
are focused on building brand awareness
and driving sales velocity. An
ongoing priority is product development
- Ms. Sutaria's sweet spot.
" Innovation is my wheelhouse, "
she said. " Our goal is to be
able to create plant-based desserts
using ingredients that are kind to
the earth, whether that's hemp or
oats or whatever the next new ingredient
is. That's always top of mind. "
The reel deal
Tackling texture was a challenge
in developing plant-based
spins on popular fish dishes. The
research and development team at
February 15, 2022

Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022

Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 1
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 2
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 3
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 4
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 5
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 6
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 7
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 8
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 9
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Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 11
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 12
Food Entrepreneur - February 15, 2022 - 13