In the seven years since Enlightened’s 2012 launch, the novelty dessert brand has become a national leader in the US better-for-you ice cream category. This competitive landscape caters to the health-conscious consumer that wants indulgence without negative consequences.
Though its first focus was naked, dairy bars at about 100 calories each, Enlightened has grown to include nearly 50 varieties of bars and pints in both dairy and non-dairy lines. The offerings all contain between 70-100 calories per serving, and are also low in carbs, fat and sugar while high in protein and fiber.
Low-carb vs low-calorie
Enlightened is now introducing a new line of pints and bars, branded specifically as friendly to the ketogenic diet. Lily Shoretz, marketing director at Enlightened, told DairyReporter it’s a direct response to what customers have been asking of the brand.
In 2018, Enlightened released Marshmallow Peanut Butter, a dairy pint with only 3g net carbs per serving. Low-carb is an important pillar of the keto diet, and Shoretz said it resonated immediately with the brand’s audience.
“People were going insane over the flavor, because it’s such a unique flavor, but even more than that, people were so excited to have such a cool, interesting flavor that wasn’t just vanilla or chocolate that was still low in carbs,” she said.
Because Enlightened found that low-carb was more important to its customers than low-calorie, the team spent three months developing the Keto Collection. They decided to listen to the terminology that their customers use in choosing the name, according to Shoretz.
“We’ve worked on a very short innovation timeline, which is really a privilege that we have as a small brand, and something that we’ve always tried to take advantage of--our ability to respond very rapidly to the market,” she said.
The new line includes seven dairy pints in Butter Pecan, Chocolate Glazed Donut, Coffee & Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mint Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter Fudge and Red Velvet, and four naked dairy bars in Dark Chocolate, Marshmallow Peanut Butter, Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.
Each have about 1g of sugar and 1g net carbs per serving, but are higher in calories, between 170-200. They also contain moderate protein levels in accordance to the keto diet. Shoretz said Enlightened looked to flavors they already know how to do well, and what would work best with the keto requirements.
Catering to a more educated consumer
Diets like keto, paleo, gluten free and vegan have never been more popular, driven by the young, adventurous consumer and made easily accessible by specialized health brands. And Enlightened thinks diet-specific products like their keto line will only grow further into the mainstream.
“I think as consumers become more educated, aware and really familiar with what they’re looking for, more brands are going to be picking up on that and highlighting the key benefits in a way that’s easy shorthand that people can understand,” Shoretz said.
Alongside the introduction of the Keto Collection, Enlightened is launching its first e-commerce platform just for the keto products. The pints will be available first on the Enlightened website this week, with the bars to follow.
In retail, Enlightened expects the keto range to be available in 8,000 stores nationwide by October.
Michael Shoretz said, founder and CEO of Enlightened, said, “We recognize that there are many paths to achieving a healthier lifestyle, so we are constantly working on new products and collections to satisfy a wide variety of nutritional needs.”
“Last year, we launched Enlightened’s dairy-free line, which introduced tasty and nutritious vegan ice cream to a growing health-conscious, plant-based audience. Now, we’re excited to bring great-tasting ice cream to the rapidly growing keto community.”