While the category is chilly, sales in ice cream are anything but. Protein-focused frozen yogurt and ice cream brand ProYo has seen just how hot the category can be after launching new “pints” and seeing major distribution gains this summer. The frozen dessert maker has more than doubled its store count since launching its pint-like formats in the spring.
The scoopable containers, which were announced in February and on shelves by the early spring, launched with seven SKUs in nearly 2,000 stores. Less than six months later, the line can now be found nationally in 4,500 stores.
“I’m thrilled about this expansion and how both retailers and consumers are responding to our high protein, low-fat offering,” Nathan Carey, ProYo founder and CEO, told NOSH. “The expansion has been faster than I expected and it’s exciting to be part of a growing category versus trying to revolutionize the novelties category.”
With it’s newest offering, ProYo hopes to capture some of the protein-seeking market that has catapulted brands like Halo Top to success. The “pints” have a similar value proposition to what Carey launched with in 2012, but now in a multiserve, resealable container of ice cream rather than single serve, frozen yogurt novelties.
Currently the best-selling low-fat ice cream flavors are Mint Chip and Dark Chocolate Toffee, which retail for $5.49. Carey said consumer feedback was crucial in pivoting to the pint-like products, and will continue to be crucial to their innovation pipeline moving forward.
“We have received feedback from customers and retailers that will impact our future flavors and formulations. Our upcoming flavors, which we’re already working on, will be focused more on inclusions and indulgent flavors,” he said. “What will stay the same, however, is our nutritional offering. All flavors will maintain delivery of 10 grams protein/serving, along with less than two grams of fat and 120 calories.”
In addition to product innovation, Carey said the company will also ramp-up marketing programs. ProYo has already started to take a digital-first approach, utilizing influencers to gain brand recognition among consumers.
The marketing focus comes as the freezer aisle has become increasingly packed with better-for-you pints spanning various functional and nutritional plays. Carey said he is not afraid of the competition, but instead welcomes it.
“With retailers now launching ‘me too’ offerings, like Kroger’s Simple Truth Low Cow, and existing brands like Breyer’s launching low calories options, it’s clear that this is a category that’s here to stay,” Carey said. “I’m inspired by this challenge.”
To learn more about how ProYo evolved from squeezable tubes to scoopable containers, watch the video below.