Mochi ice cream is a niche dessert concept in the US that’s recently hit its stride. It was invented by a Japanese-American entrepreneur and launched in the US in the early 1990s. My/Mo took over that company in 2015 and has since been pioneering the sale of mochi ice cream in the US.
Russell Barnett, CMO at My/Mo Mochi, told DairyReporter “What Chobani did to Greek yogurt and Kind did to bars, My/Mo and mochi in general is doing to the frozen novelty space.”
He said unit sales of mochi ice cream are up 140% year-over-year, and My/Mo is found in more than 12,000 stores nationwide. It sells mochi in the original format: boxed packages of frozen balls of ice cream wrapped in a sticky rice dough. It comes in eight flavors like Double Chocolate, Sweet Mango and Green Tea. It also offers four separate flavors that are completely non-dairy and vegan.
Barnett said that the company ‘realized early on’ the need for innovation and wide offerings in order to strike a chord with customers. They took cues from industry-wide consumer demand for plant-based options in their non-dairy launch.
My/Mo wanted to keep the original intent of having mochi in the snack category, but also recognized its potential as a competitive dessert. That led to its launch of ‘deconstructed’ ice cream pints, flavored like the snacks and chunked with bits of mochi dough.
Ripe for innovation
Now the brand prepares for its latest release, coming in early 2019. The new triple layer mochi ice cream adds a ‘taste bud-tantalizing’ center layer to the original recipe. The line includes Chocolate Sundae, vanilla ice cream wrapped in chocolate dough with a cherry center. Vanilla Blueberry, Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Peanut butter round out the launch.
“The frozen novelty category had been ripe for innovation and My/Mo brought excitement back to the category with the creation of a handheld, portion-controlled snack platform that consumers didn’t even know they needed. With this launch, we wanted to take it a step further to really ‘wow’ snack fanatics with new flavors and textures,” Barnett said.
My/Mo wants to strike while the snacking iron is hot among young people. Barnett shared that millennials are the brand’s clear target market, citing their tendency to fill their days with snacks and eat several times a day rather than just three specific meals.
“As millennials are the largest living generation, if you’re not talking to them and with them, then I think [that is] a bit of a miss. It is definitely a millennial consumer. We lovingly say we’re a colorful brand for colorful people,” he said.