Two young Kiwi entrepreneurs are taking cauliflower to the next level — by turning it into ice cream.
EatKinda’s cauliflower ice cream launched in supermarkets this month, the idea first emerging when co-founder Jenni Matheson went vegan in early 2000.
With limited plant-based options, she started creating her own recipes.
Matheson experimented with a cauliflower cheesecake, before her cauliflower ice-cream recipe was born. She then pitched it to Startup Taranaki, her plant-based ice cream then catching the attention of Massey University student Milli Kumar, who was in her final year of studying food technology.
Matheson and Kumar said that where possible, the ice cream is made from cosmetically imperfect cauliflower which would otherwise be tossed out.
They said the range was vegan, GMO free and palm oil free, and made without dairy, soy, nuts, artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners, and the packaging was home compostable.
The pair said their creation is led by science and their passion for making great-tasting kai. The ice cream is suited to flexitarian, plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan diets.
Kumar told 1News it’s “amazing” to finally have their products on supermarket shelves: “It’s been a hard three years for Jenni and I, taking a kitchen recipe and commercialising it to scale as it’s a world-first innovation”.
She said going into supermarkets allowed the pair to “make a deeper impact, save more cauliflowers from being left on the farms, and lower the plastic consumption by the ice cream category”.
Kumar said feedback from the public has been very positive so far.
“Our favourite activity is getting people to try the ice cream, not knowing the magic ingredient. Once they are told it’s made from cauliflower, their reactions are always priceless.”
It went down a treat in the TVNZ newsroom, with Hilary Barry saying she “couldn’t tell” the magic ingredient was a vegetable. “It does taste delicious, I’ll admit it,” she laughed.
Kumar said now more than ever, people care about what they spend their money on and the impact it had on the environment.
Kumar said they eventually hope to take their ice cream to Australia and the US. She said more cauliflower-based products could be possible in the future.
The creators didn’t want to tell 1News how the sweet treat is made, keeping their recipe top-secret.