Country Crock launches plant-based whipping cream

Dive Brief:

  • Country Crock is launching Plant Cream, a plant-based alternative to dairy-heavy whipping cream, the brand said in a statement. The product can be substituted in cooking and baking on a 1-to-1 swap with dairy.
  • The new cream is the latest extension of the Country Crock Plant Based line of dairy-free and vegan products. It is soy-free and certified plant-based by the Plant Based Foods Association.
  • Plant-based dairy sales rose 4% in 2021 to $2.6 billion in 2021. The growth has attracted the attention of large CPGs and smaller upstarts aiming to grab a share of the category.

Dive Insight:

As more consumers turn to plant-based dairy offerings, nearly every facet of the category has seen new products roll out. 

Country Crock is far and away the most popular brand in the spreads business. Statista data showed it posted $94 million in sales for the 12 weeks ended August 9, 2020, nearly double the second-most popular, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Country Crock is mostly plant-based with the exception of vitamin D3, an animal-derived vitamin supplement, according to a vegan website.

Country Crock dove into the plant-based food sector with the launch of a dairy-free plant butter in 2019. Its expansion into heavy whipping cream further increases its presence in the category, while giving it additional scale to compete with other players. It also gives Country Crock a way to attract longtime consumers who may have switched to plant-based or are using more of those products in place of dairy.

“Country Crock Plant Cream is a must-have, secret weapon ingredient to have in the kitchen,” Natalie Cooper, brand lead with Country Crock, said in a statement. “Its versatility and delicious taste make it perfect for vegetarians, dairy intolerant or plant curious consumers.”

Plant Cream comes loaded with several valuable selling points. It has a 1-to-1 ratio, meaning that a consumer using it in place of traditional cream can do so without having to muddle through confusing conversions. It also has 29% less saturated fat than dairy-heavy whipping cream, according to the brand, giving it a way to not only attract those interested in plant-based foods, but people looking to eat healthier as well — a push that has intensified during the ongoing pandemic.

Unlike the milk and yogurt sectors, whipping cream appears to be mostly untapped when it comes to plant-based alternatives. Danone’s Silk launched the first plant-based whipping cream product in 2020. Flora, which is also owned by Country Crock’s corporate parent Upfield, additionally has a dairy-free cooking cream on the market.