Innovative Products Bridging the ‘Dairy’ Gap

The past year has been big for innovation in the gluten-free and dairy-free category, with new products appearing across multiple segments. Leave it to these innovators to find new ways to use nuts, pea protein and seeds to create products layered with flavor, rich in texture and loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients—all without any gluten or dairy. 

Gone are the days of chalky and just plain weird textures made with a long list of artificial ingredients. The new products comprised of easy-to-digest, fiber-ful ingredients succeed in breaking the “dairy” craving and leave you feeling anything but left out. 

Here are just some of the dairy- and gluten-free products making their way onto store shelves:


The vanilla spice protein drink from Rebbl® blends coconut milk with healing herbs (maca, reishi, and ashwagandha) to create a delicious drink that can double as a meal replacement. Made with only organic ingredients, the smooth, almost velvety beverage tastes just as good as it is for you. 

Grab a Cave Shake and indulge in a ready-to-eat coconut shake loaded with healthy fat designed to satisfy that sweet craving in a healthful way. These shakes are sugar free, Keto, Paleo, vegan and low in carbohydrates. Available in vanilla, chocolate and coffee, Cave Shakes can also serve as a meal replacement and not just a tasty dessert.


Butter Substitutes

Miyoko’s Kitchen won a Nexty Award for its European Style Cultured VeganButter that melts, cooks, bakes, spreads and tastes just like butter. Made with organic coconut oil and organic cashews, it is also free of palm oil and non-GMO ingredients. Spread it on a slice of gluten-free toast and enjoy every buttery bite!


Made from butter beans, coconut
oil and safflower oil, WayFare Foods’ dairy-free salted whipped butter promises it tastes better than real butter. Also available in garlic and Sweet Cinnamony, these butter substitutes are light, airy and spreadable straight
from the container. 


Free2B chocolate cups contain dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, making them completely allergen free. All of the flavors—sun butter, caramel and mint—come in single-serve packaging perfect for on-the-go snacking and lunch packing. 

Eating Evolved’s coconut butter cups are made with fair trade certified cocoa and are free of soy and cane sugar. Banana cream is the newest flavor of the adult-targeted candy made with clean and very few ingredients.



Rule Breaker (formerly Pure Genius) has taken dessert to a whole new level with its fudgy deep chocolate brownies and chocolate chunk blondies that taste sinful but are made with “good-for-you” ingredients. The main ingredient in these desserts is—wait for it—chickpeas. Packed with fiber, protein and just 11 grams of sugar, these desserts are a rich, satisfying and delicious way to add fiber to your daily calorie intake.



Kite Hill’s plant-based ricotta cheese turns cultured almond milk into a creamy delight that is light, flavorful and would easily fool any cheese eater. Although your first instinct may be to use it to make lasagna, this cheese can be eaten straight from the package and pairs nicely with crackers and vegetables.


Miyoko’s Kitchen added Fresh VeganMozz cheese to its line of artisan creamy plant-based cheeses. Delicious hot or cold, it is made from cashews and tastes just like traditional mozzarella. It melts and browns, so use it to make pizza, Caprese salad or grilled cheese, or slice off hunks and enjoy it straight from the package.

Even the Italians are getting in on the vegan cheese trend with Mozzarisella, made from sprouted brown rice grown in Italy. It contains carrube flour (high in vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B3), coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, xanthan gum, agar agar and nothing artificial.



The vegan gelato from Vixen Kitchen is made from organic raw cashews and sweetened with organic maple syrup. Choose from a variety of flavors, such as Chai & I, Blue Dream, Coffee Cream Dream, Midnight Mint, Naked Vanilla and Naked Chocolate, and marvel at this creamy treat that tastes like it’s made with cream but doesn’t contain an ounce of dairy.


Millie’s Organic Vegan Gelato is made with a combination of homemade sprouted almond milk and cashew cream, making it an entirely plant-based creation. It has a rich, velvety texture designed to be enjoyed by all gelato lovers. Sweetened with organic blue agave, coconut palm sugar and dates, it comes in a variety of flavors that dazzle the taste buds without any “moo.”


Ice Cream

Available this spring, Luna & Larry’s entry in the ice cream sandwich category comprises two hemp seed chocolate chip cookies filled with organic dark chocolate coconut ice cream. Made with sprouted flour, the chocolate chip cookies are also soy free and pair nicely with its ice cream sweetened with agave.


VanLeeuwen ice cream launched a line of vegan ice cream in nine flavors (chocolate chip cookie dough is not gluten free) made with cashews and coconut cream at the end of 2016. By taking its most popular flavors and combining them with a new vegan “ice cream” base, the company found itself in a position to service previously neglected segments of potential customers.



Good Karma is entering the yogurt category with a first-to-market line of flax milk-based yogurts. With seven live and active cultures, these dairy-free yogurts contain a healthy serving of omega-3 healthy fats. Available in five flavors, each serving delivers five to six grams of plant-based protein that is free of gluten, dairy, soy and nuts.


Yogurt made from cashew milk is now a reality thanks to Forager Project’s cashew milk yogurts. Available in five flavors, the tasty treat has a creamy texture from cashews and is cultured just like dairy yogurt, so you get all the probiotic benefits without any dairy. These yogurts are low in sugar and high in protein. Additionally, they are certified organic and kosher, don’t contain any non-GMO ingredients, and are free of soy.

Jennifer Harris

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