Unilever adds a probiotic twist to its ice cream portfolio

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Culture Republick is launching seven flavors, each with 400-500 calories.
Culture Republick is launching seven flavors, each with 400-500 calories.

Related tags Ice cream Halo Top Unilever Probiotics

Unilever United States has launched Culture Republick, a light ice cream brand featuring live probiotic cultures. It gets Unilever deeper into the light ice cream game, departing from its more traditional brands like Ben & Jerry’s.

Culture Republick ice cream claims to be “on a mission to support culture both inside and out.”​ Each pint reportedly contains more than three billion live cultures, similar to foods naturally rich in probiotics, like yogurt and kombucha.

The new brand is launching seven flavors, each with 400-500 calories, 16-18 grams of protein, 11-12 grams of fiber and no artificial sweeteners. The flavors are Milk & Honey, Turmeric Chai & Cinnamon, Cold Brew & Chocolate Chip, Pistachio & Caramel, Lemon & Graham, Chocolate & Cherry, and Matcha & Fudge. It plans to release non-dairy flavors in early 2019.

Combining culture and ice cream

Culture Republick emphasizes that it supports more than just a healthier ice cream option, however. It’s also committed to supporting local arts and culture: Each pint flavor features artwork by a different independent artist that partnered with the brand.

“Our ambition is to use our brand as a vehicle for others. Each of our packs are designed by emerging artists. And 10% of our profits will support the arts in local communities,”​ Culture Republick said.

A detailed introduction of each flavor and corresponding artist can be found on the brand’s website.

Leslie Miller, marketing director of ice cream at Unilever, said, "Culture Republick was created with a distinct purpose in mind. We believe that humanity could use a bit more brightness. By combining our passions for culture and ice cream, we intend to do our part in making people feel more balanced, inspired and connected."

Finding a seat at the ‘light’ table

Unilever owns several other ice cream brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Klondike and Good Humor. Each sell a more traditional ice cream product without reduced fat, sugar or calories. But with the recent light ice cream craze spearheaded by Halo Top, many classic brands are introducing lighter options to try to meet consumer demand and mimic its success.

Ben & Jerry’s launched three flavors ​ of Moo-phoria, its first light ice cream, in early 2018 and recently expanded to seven flavors. Breyers has a few healthier options within its dessert brand, including No Sugar Added ice cream, CarbSmart ice cream and bars and Fat Free ice cream.

All the light options from major brands are chasing the lowest calorie count, ranging from about 70 calories (Halo Top) to 160 calories (Moo-phoria) per half-cup serving, depending on the flavor. Culture Republick fits into this standard, clocking in with about 100 calories per half-cup.

Culture Republick is gradually rolling out to grocery stores nationwide and will continue expanding distribution in 2019.

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