Dairy-alternative whipped toppings are becoming more popular at bakery cafes and coffee shops.
In consumer research commissioned by Rich Products Corporation, 60 percent of those polled said they would visit their favorite bakery cafe or coffee shop more often if a dairy-alternative whipped topping was offered.
For foodservice operators serving up cafe-style beverages like hot chocolate or specialty coffee drinks, Rich Products has introduced an innovative dairy-alternative topping. Buffalo-based Rich Products unveils the launch of Café Whip, a dairy-alternative whipped topping made with coconut milk.
“Café Whip is the first viable dairy-alternative whipped topping to be made using coconut milk, which is great news for coffee shops, bakery cafes and other foodservice operations that are looking for the next edge in beverage solutions,” says Jeff Malchoff, senior marketing manager in Rich’s Foodservice Division.  “We learned that operators were trying to make a whipped topping using their current coconut milk but were not successful. With Café Whip, we believe the increased market potential is there for any foodservice operator who has a specialty beverage program.”
Café Whip has a light and creamy texture with dairy and vanilla flavors with a hint of coconut. It meets leading vegan requirements and is also kosher pareve. The whipped topping contains sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup and has no hydrogenated oils. It also contains less fat than sweetened-and-flavored heavy whipping cream.  
Almond milk is another beverage topping choice that is gaining popularity among consumers. For instance, Starbucks customers may now customize their orders with the non-dairy alternative in any of Starbucks’ beverages.
“We created our own almond milk recipe to complement our hot, iced and Frappuccino blended beverages,” says Yoke Wong, manager on Starbucks beverage research and development team. “It was designed so that when steamed, it creates rich foam for hot beverages and is delicious and creamy when served in cold beverages.”
In other findings from Rich’s consumer research, 77 percent indicated they would be likely or very likely to try a whipped topping made with coconut milk, which lately has been rising faster than other substitutes as a popular dairy alternative.  
“There’s nothing else like it for topping off either dairy or dairy-alternative specialty beverages,” Malchoff says.  “It should have tremendous appeal not only for those who are dairy avoiders, but also for those who are actively looking for items with authentic ingredients, as it is made with real coconut milk, coconut oil, and sunflower oil.”
Café Whip’s traditional whipped cream taste pairs well with any type of cafe beverage. When consumers in a Rich’s study were asked on what types of beverages they might dollop using a coconut milk-based whipped topping, the leading answers were the following:
Hot chocolate
Regular dairy specialty coffee beverages (such as frappés or other blended beverages)
Dairy-alternative specialty coffee beverages (such as a soy frappé or a blended iced coffee beverage with coconut milk)
These applications show that Café Whip is appealing to both dairy and dairy alternative consumers. Produced in frozen liquid form, Café Whip is packaged in a 30.8-ounce (875-gram) carton, the contents of which can be thawed and then used in a gas-charged canister, a common whipped topping dispenser used by cafes and coffee shops.