Swedish ice cream maker snags $30 million, partners with Perfect Day

20 Jan 2021

Swedish sugar-free ice cream brand, Nick’s scooped up $30 million in a funding round led by Stockholm-based investment group Gullspång invest, an early investor in Oatly. Along with a sizeable infusion of cash, the better-for-you ice cream brand also secured Carlos Altschul as the company’s new CEO. Altschul was previously the CEO of Siggi’s.

The company said that it will use this additional funding for international expansion with its primary focus geared toward the U.S. and Germany. Funding will also be applied to constructing a production facility in Europe.

Swedish ice cream maker snags $30 million, partners with Perfect Day
Courtesy of N!ck's

Nick’s aggressive international expansion goals will be a continuation of its success in the United States. Since it appeared on shelves in 2019, the company said it has become “the fastest-growing, better-for-you ice cream available in-store and DTC” with sales in 2020 reaching approximately $10 million.

Part of the brand’s popularity is derived from its success in mimicking a full-fat, full-calorie ice cream but with only a fraction of the associated calories. Thanks to its EPG fat source, which is a modified plant-based oil, the company can replace up to 85% of the fat content in its ice cream products with an ingredient that has seven times fewer calories per gram than regular fat molecules. Nick’s says it has the exclusive right to use EPG in the U.S. and the result is that its ice cream has 70% fewer calories than other brands.

However, low-calorie ice cream is not the only method that the company is using to disrupt the ice cream space. Vegan ice cream is another category in which Nick’s is hoping to scoop up some market share. In January, Nick’s launched vegan ice cream in collaboration with Perfect Day, the biotech company that produces whey protein that is identical to cow’s milk. The pair collaborated on seven vegan ice cream flavors, including Swedish Mint Chip, Choklad Choklad and Karamell Swirl; however, the full range of flavors will not be available until February.

While the collaboration with Perfect Day is billed as a vegan ice cream, many consider products created with Perfect Day's cow-free protein to be animal-free rather than plant-based. However it is categorized, this animal-free dairy ice cream niche is small but growing. Other brands like Graeter’s, Brave Robot and Smitten are competing in the space that is steadily gaining a wider audience due to its appeal as a more sustainable method of producing animal products.

With Altschul at the helm of the company, Nick’s is setting itself up for growth through innovation. When the CEO previously led Siggi’s, he was able to keep the company as a leader in the Icelandic skyr market by pushing for adjacent product innovation, including venturing into the plant-based space. With experience leading a company that is looking to grow and evolve, it is no surprise that Altschul will be focusing on expanding Nick’s retail and e-commerce, direct-to-consumer presence in 2021 with a particular emphasis on innovation and retail distribution.

Although the company is laser focused on ice cream in the U.S., its European business also includes bars, beverages and snacks.

Related news

Oman authorities put food security and sustainability centre stage with ‘transformative’ investments

Oman authorities put food security and sustainability centre stage with ‘transformative’ investments

21 Jul 2022

New technologies and initiatives to promote sustainable food systems, healthy diets and improved food and nutrition security have attracted the backing of authorities in the Gulf country Oman.

Read more 
Europe’s plant-based boom: Opportunities for brands

Europe’s plant-based boom: Opportunities for brands

6 Jul 2022

The plant-based alternative sector is rapidly expanding, in Europe and further afield. What are consumers demanding, and where do the opportunities lie for brands?

Read more 
Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners

Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners

30 Jun 2022

Finnish company Fazer is transforming the oat hull side streams from its existing oat mill into the low-calorie sweetener, xylitol.

Read more 
Parmesan partnership to put ‘blockchain ready’ digital chip on all cheese wheels

Parmesan partnership to put ‘blockchain ready’ digital chip on all cheese wheels

29 Jun 2022

A new line of food-safe and secure digital labels on each Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheel will deliver previously unseen levels of traceability, product control, and quality assurance, says the Consorzio del Parmigiano Reggiano (CFPR).

Read more 
‘Game-changing’ tech such as automation and synthetic biotechnology the future for manufacturing, VTT predicts

‘Game-changing’ tech such as automation and synthetic biotechnology the future for manufacturing, VTT predicts

28 Jun 2022

“Game-changing technologies” such as synthetic biotechnology – combining engineering principles with biology in natural production processes – and more automation could revolutionise European food manufacturing, as well as for a host of other sectors i...

Read more 
World first: Dutch team develop method to extract high-value protein from tomato leaf

World first: Dutch team develop method to extract high-value protein from tomato leaf

27 Jun 2022

Tomato leaves that are currently seen as a major waste stream in horticulture could provide a reliable and sustainable source of rubisco – a widespread plant protein that has potential in food and drink, say researchers.

Read more 
Boom or bust: Are consumers ready for the alternative protein revolution?

Boom or bust: Are consumers ready for the alternative protein revolution?

24 Jun 2022

While excitement over alt-proteins is high among industry and investors, major challenges remain for companies looking to convince consumers to switch to a plant-based ‘meat alternative’.

Read more 
Mars launches animal-free chocolate with Perfect Day’s whey protein

Mars launches animal-free chocolate with Perfect Day’s whey protein

21 Jun 2022

Mars has launched a vegan chocolate bar made with biotech unicorn Perfect Day’s animal-free whey protein made via precision fermentation.

Read more 
Unilever in $120m biotech venture to scale palm oil alternative

Unilever in $120m biotech venture to scale palm oil alternative

20 Jun 2022

Unilever has teamed up with US biotech company Genomatica to commercialise its palm oil alternative produced via a biotechnology fermentation process.

Read more 
Clutch Cognition creates functional drinks with brain health botanicals

Clutch Cognition creates functional drinks with brain health botanicals

7 Jun 2022

Danish startup, Clutch Cognition, has entered the functional drinks space targeting cognitive health with a blend of botanicals and plant-based ingredients such as sage, green oat, green tea, and guar beans.

Read more