Passionate paleo followers can fuel brand awareness, sales for compliant packaged products

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Between 1 to 3 million people in the United States follow the paleo diet, and yet relatively few packaged products comply with the regime – making it a market brimming with potential that once tapped could quickly drive brand awareness and sales, according to the co-founders of frozen dessert brand Snow Monkey.

“What we have noticed in the paleo community, in particular, is they seem to be almost starved … for options when it comes to indulgent or packaged foods,” Rachel Geicke, a co-founder of Snow Monkey told FoodNavigator-USA at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City June 26. “There are many, many meal combinations you can make in your own kitchen that are Paleo, but to go into an ice cream aisle or a baked goods aisle and say, ‘Hey, this is paleo and I feel great about it,’ is tough.”

As a result, she explains some people only follow paleo five days a week – allowing them two days to “cheat” and eat a pastry at their favorite bakery or kick-back at a house party without worrying about what they are eating or drinking.

“We want to include indulgent with Paleo, and I think this is a big marketing opportunity because it is actually an underserved demand from a consumer side, and it is definitely underserved in our lives, which is why we ended up creating Snow Monkey,” she said.

Snow Monkey is just as creamy feeling as regular dairy-based ice cream, but it skips the dairy and instead uses bananas, hemp seeds and sunflower butter as its base, which provides a 21-gram punch of plant-based protein in each pint. They duo then blends in goji berry powder and non-alkalized cacao for extra indulgence and nutrition, said company co-founder Mariana Ferreira.

The blend also is healthy enough that the creators – and consumers – can enjoy it for breakfast, guilt-free, and still have they energy they need to power through their mornings.

Paleo is only part of the story

But for Geicke and Ferreira, creating Snow Monkey was about more than developing a better-for-you treat or devising an excuse to eat ice cream for breakfast. It also was about meeting an unmet need for consumers who suffer from allergies.

“We were both athletes in college, and we just cared a lot about what we ate, when we ate it and the ingredients that are inside it, because obviously being athletes it is important to make sure you get the right protein from the right sources. But also we have a lot of allergies … so, I think, the two things combined really powered us to come up with this cool recipe that is powerful in that it helps us reach our athletic goals, but also it makes sure we aren’t hitting any of those allergies or troublesome areas,” Ferreira said.

Harnessing the Paleo community

But by going one step farther to ensure the frozen dessert not only was allergy-friendly but also paleo, the young brand was able to harness the marketing power of the diet’s followers.

Geicke explained, “Once we get a consumer who really buys into our values and sees the full potential in feeling great but also fueling” their bodies, “they want to share it with their friends because there is a huge community around the Paleo lifestyle.”

As a result, the brand has seen a lift in awareness from word of mouth between friends and Paleo followers and their social media forms, she said. 

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