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How Your Restaurant May Benefit from Selling Non-Dairy Soft Serve

How Your Restaurant May Benefit from Selling Non-Dairy Soft Serve

Sometimes the ones we love most, don’t love us back.

This tends to be the case when it comes to ice cream. Although it’s undeniably rich and creamy, it doesn’t always agree with us, and we’re left wondering if consuming the sweet treat was even worth it. Soft serve ice cream will always be one of America’s favorite desserts, but for those who are unable to enjoy it, it may seem unfair. Luckily, with new technologies and dairy alternatives being introduced to the market every year, there are loads of substitutes you can incorporate into your Spaceman soft serve machine to solve this issue. We’re going to go over the four main reasons why selling non-dairy soft serve might be the right move for your company, as well as our recommendations for some of the best non-dairy products to use in your Spaceman soft serve machine.

Customer Empathy

Lactose intolerance is a digestive disorder that affects over 30 million people across America. This disorder causes an array of undesirable symptoms, and it can cause people to stray away from consuming dairy-based products. By adding a non-dairy soft serve option to your restaurant’s menu, you are proving to your customers that their health is important to you, and you’re also showing that your business is inclusive of everyone’s eating habits. Not only will offering non-dairy soft serve cater to the lactose intolerant sector of your target market, but it would also open the door to customers with restrictive diets, such as vegans. In America alone, the number of individuals who identify as vegan has increased by 600% from 2018-2021. By offering a non-dairy soft serve option on your menu, these customers who previously could not purchase from your restaurant now can, which will increase profitability as well as customer loyalty.

Rise in Popularity

There has been a major shift in the ice cream market during the past several years. Many consumers are switching to dairy alternatives, which have a current market size of around $22.25 billion. The market for dairy alternatives is expected to reach $53.97 billion by 2028 and grow at a CAGR of 13.3%. The vegan food market is also expected to surpass $31 billion by 2026, an enormous jump from its $14.2 billion valuation in 2018. When recognizing how enormous these numbers are, it is important to keep up with the trends. With an ever-changing consumer, we need to make sure we are providing them with what they need, and in this case, that just may be non-dairy ice cream.


It doesn’t come as a surprise that vegans are willing to pay a much higher price for food than those who do not have restrictive diets. Research shows that vegans pay up to 65% more for restaurant meals than those who eat “standard meals.” Vegan food tends to be more expensive due to the ingredients used to make the products, the market being smaller, and the demand being lower. Companies that sell vegan products need to figure out how to make a return on their investment, so despite the demand being lower, prices need to be raised to make a profit. If vegan soft serve is something that your restaurant might be interested in offering, consider pricing the sweet treat at a slightly higher cost than your regular soft serve.

Less Frequent Cleaning

Did you know that soft serve machines should be cleaned anywhere between three to seven times a week? There is a variety of reasons why keeping up with this practice is so important, and they include: the safety of your customers, extending the life of your equipment, and providing better food quality. Although cleaning your machine often is absolutely necessary, it can seem like a burden sometimes. Ultimately, the frequency in which you wash your soft serve machines depends on local guidelines in your area, but we suggest cleaning it daily, especially when it comes to dairy products. This is because regular dairy products are susceptible to coliform bacteria, which can multiply to dangerous levels at a rapid rate. However, this risk is less threatening when it comes to non-dairy products such as oat milk or almond milk, which have longer shelf lives. If you need guidance on how to properly clean your Spaceman soft serve machine, please check out our step-by-step YouTube tutorial here.

Our Recommendations

While regular dairy soft serve is still king, we do not want you to feel as if your options are limited if dairy does not work for your company. With veganism surging in popularity and more people becoming lactose intolerant, it is important to stay conscious of other options that are available for your use in the industry. Oatly, a Swedish food company that produces dairy alternatives from oats, offers two flavors of soft serve that come in ready-to-pour cartons. The soft serve is available in vanilla and chocolate, and both flavors are vegan, gluten free, and NON-GMO. Another brand that we recommend is Dole, the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Dole offers a dry soft serve mix that easily blends with water to create true, fruit flavored soft serve. The line includes, but is not limited to, flavors such as Pineapple, Mango, and Strawberry, and each flavor is dairy-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free.  Ripple, offers Original and Vanilla base ideal for soft serve, hard packs, and milk shakes.  It’s creamy, neutral base allows custom flavors and inclusions to shine.  Another option is from Temptation.   Temptation Vegan Soft Serve is a dairy-free soft serve mix made with oats. As mentioned previously, regular dairy soft serve remains one of America’s favorite desserts, but it is never a bad idea to keep your options open and accommodate consumers’ changing tastes. With more people converting to veganism every year, adding a dairy-free dessert option to your restaurant’s menu may be a great idea to connect with new customers and expand the breadth of your company.

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