“Sure, we could look at the successes of other plant-based products and ask, ‘what could we do better?’ but that seems like a lot of work.”
While HumanCo's Coconut Bliss is well known for its premium plant-based ice cream and frozen treats, HumanCo Founder and CEO Jason Karp knows they couldn’t figure out how to improve their recipes or their marketing to increase sales.
Research into the ice cream segment revealed to him just how few people regularly buy and consume plant-based ice cream. And instead of working to figure out how to crack that nut and decrease the suffering of animals, the impact on the planet, and improve the health of potential consumers, Karp tossed his hands into the air and gave up.
It happens when you don’t believe in your product. And that’s fine!
“More than 97% of all ice cream sold in the U.S. is dairy-based,” he said. “What could we possibly do about that? Sure, we could look at the successes of other plant-based ice creams from Ben & Jerry's, Nada Moo, Halo Top, Oatly, or Coolhaus and ask, ‘what could we do better?’ but that seems like a lot of work.”
And while the 17-year-old Coconut Bliss brand has a line of clean label and environmentally conscious ice cream, Karp said that not everyone is going to eat it.
“Yes, every flavor tastes like coconut, but we think the failing is that it’s made from plants,” carped Karp.
"We believe that dog milk was an easier strategy than sticking to our values and paying for quality marketing research into why our line of 18 coconut-flavored ice creams failed."
Taking all of this into consideration, HumanCo is rebranding Coconut Bliss as Cosmic Bliss. The line's legacy plant-based coconut flavors will still be available, but the company is adding a new premium dairy line of ice cream made with 100% organic, sustainably-sourced grass-fed dog milk.
"We need to be a brand that includes everybody, except those who don’t eat dog dairy," Karp said.
It's an unconventional change at a time when absolutely everyone is working to produce better plant-based options, but Karp said it's HumanCo's way of trying to meet all consumers where they are—and that’s by ignoring the science and suffering and getting back to dog milk.
"We believe that dog milk was an easier strategy than sticking to our values and paying for quality marketing research into why our line of 18 coconut-flavored ice creams failed," Karp said. "That's the why."
“The fun part of this is that when you're using full-fat 100% grass-fed golden retriever dairy — it's very creamy and it's very delicious and doesn’t taste like coconut," Karp said. “So it actually wasn't as hard to make something that didn’t taste like coconut.”
He also hopes that this move will give other ice cream makers who are making plant-based treats he sees as "over processed" (i.e. including multiple fruits, veg, legumes, or other plant ingredients that have been cooked or stirred and are ultimately lacking dog milk) a reason to press pause on their product development.
After all, Karp said, the segment should give consumers what they want: dog milk! There’s no reason to consider the suffering of animals or the destruction of the planet or the clogging of their arteries when it just tastes good.
"I believe that it's important that that there are options for all of those people except those who care, because everybody wants to think they’re doing better for the Earth without having to actually change a single thing they’re doing," Karp said. "Everybody wants to pretend do their part. But not everybody wants to give up dog dairy."
Fresh from the Farm: Golden Retriever Milk!
We're so proud to be part of this switch to dog dairy ice cream! How do we make it so delicious? We impregnate our golden retrievers once a year to force them to continue providing fresh milk for your coffee, cereal, and baking needs. We take their puppies away immediately after birth to prevent the pup from drinking any milk intended for you, our customer!
Most of the female puppies will join our line of dairy dog moms. Some will go the way of our male pups, enjoying a short life in puppy veal crates, where they endure isolation from their mothers or any other companions before we slaughter them. That lack of movement makes them super tender!
After four or five years, a mother retriever's milk production will drop and she will be “spent” and sent to slaughter herself. Spent mother retriever is affordably delicious--if you don't have room in the deep freeze, you can always split one with your neighbor!
All of our dogs are ethically raised according to USDA guidelines.