Fudgsicles have been part of Americana for nearly a century but one woman-owned brand is giving the fudgy treat a dairy-free spin to bring it into the modern era. FudgyPop is a new brand that just launched with its flagship fudgy pops in three flavors (Fudge, Berry, and Minty) made with rich coconut cream and dutch cocoa instead of dairy.
“We were craving a real chocolate experience in ice cream,” FudgyPop co-founder Nicole Cardone tells VegNews. “When looking back at the nostalgia of Fudgesicles we enjoyed as kids, we realized they weren’t as fudgy as we remembered, they were actually kind of icy—not to mention an ingredient list that didn’t adhere to our grown up sensibilities.”
A nostalgic vegan take on Fudgsicles
Cardone and Deborah Gorman are founders of Fruitful Brands, which, in addition to newly launched FudgyPop, include Sorbabes, a next-gen brand the women created more than a decade ago to elevate sorbet to new heights.
For FudgyPops, the inspiration was all about nostalgia and the founders’ shared love of chocolate. “Doing a deep dive into other brands, each just offered one chocolate option that tasted like frozen chocolate milk, but we wanted more,” Cardone says. “We made FudgyPop for the ultimate chocolate lover, made with fair-trade, high-quality Guittard chocolate, these pops deliver on the true fudgy experience.”
And while original Fudgcicles contain dairy, the animal-derived ingredient was not even on the table for FudgyPop.
“To get the ultimate fudgy experience, dairy just isn’t necessary,” Cardone says. “In fact, when we did a side by side taste comparison, R&D samples made with dairy scored lower on the ‘fudgy scale’ tasting more like chocolate milk versus rich fudge.”
“These FudgyPops are really for everyone, vegan, dairy free, or not, if you are a chocolate lover you will love these,” she says.
Ice cream novelties go dairy-free
FudgyPop is debuting during a time when many ice cream brands have released dairy-free versions of their iconic products.
This includes brands owned by Unilever—the parent company of Fudgcicle—such as Ben & Jerry’s (which boasts more than 20 non-dairy pints, including classic flavors such as Phish Food and Cherry Garcia); Magnum (which has a selection of vegan ice cream bars); and Breyers (which added two additional flavors to its non-dairy line in 2021).
In the coming years, Cardone has plans to continue expanding the portfolios for both Sorbabes and FudgyPop with the mission of giving classic treats a new (and dairy-free) spin.
“We have always been on a mission to reinvent classic treats for the modern palate with taste and ingredient improvements,” Cardone says.
“Sorbets were old school until SorBabes turned them into flavor dipped crunch bars made with clean, plant based ingredients—same with FudgyPop, now with a cleaned up, plant-based ingredient list and making classic chocolate flavor combinations fresh again in this new frozen form,” she says.
The new FudgyPop brand’s vegan treats are available at select retailers, including Pavilions, Gelson’s, and Nugget Markets stores in California; Brookshire’s in Houston, TX; and Reasors in Tulsa, OK, with more to come. They can also be ordered for nationwide shipping through the FudgyPop website.