There’s a saying in show business: The show must go on. Whatever the circumstances, there’s no disaster or unexpected turn of events that will stand in the way of delivering a polished performance to an expectant audience. Patrons have invested in something special and it is up to the performers to offer a rich and undiluted experience to them. Here at Coconut Bliss, we take our dairy free ice cream, and the ingredients that go into it, just as seriously.
One of those ingredients is our organic vanilla extract. It provides a subtle, yet complex depth of flavor, and is the reason our Vanilla Island continues to amaze and delight ice cream lovers of every ilk. We use a particularly special vanilla from Madagascar that is cold-extracted to preserve the delicate flavor compounds.
Prior to extraction, the vanilla bean (which is the seed pod of a specific variety of orchid), requires a great deal of care to bring it to market. Vanilla must be hand-pollinated at just the right moment, harvested, cured and sun-dried over the course of several months. This labor-intensive ingredient has always carried with it a high price tag, but over the last couple of years the vanilla market has become extremely volatile. At the same time food manufacturers started taking steps to meet consumer demand for cleaner ingredient labels, the vanilla growing region of Madagascar was hit hard by tropical storms, severely impacting the supply of vanilla beans.
The market for vanilla began to shift as large food manufacturing companies started replacing synthetic vanilla extract with the real deal. Created in a food lab, the artificially flavored extract could be purchased for far less than real vanilla extract. As consumer preference shifted towards natural ingredients, many food giants took note, and began to change their recipes to include non-artificial flavor compounds. Demand grew and the supply of natural vanilla could not keep up. We are now faced with the highest prices we have ever seen for our lovely vanilla extract.
This situation has caused numerous companies, even those who uphold the highest ingredient standards, to alter their recipes or seek alternative sources to this costly ingredient. Some food brands that are unwilling to move back to synthetic vanilla extract are decreasing the amount used in their recipes in an attempt to offset the high cost.
Coconut Bliss is taking a different approach. We say: The recipe must go on. We have chosen not to change our recipes, or seek a different supplier. Our relationship with our vanilla supplier, Lochhead Manufacturing Company, is highly valued and rooted in trust. Not only do they offer the best vanilla extract available, they have a mission focused on humanitarianism and social responsibility. They take an active role in bettering the communities that we source our vanilla from. You can learn more about their clean water initiative here.
Our commitment to you, our customers, is also based on trust, and you’ve invested in our products. Whether you choose Coconut Bliss ice cream because it is certified organic, certified gluten free or dairy free, we are committed to delivering a rich and undiluted blissful experience to you each time you open a pint. We will continue to support our suppliers who are doing good work in the world, as well as the growers who lovingly tend to our ingredients, so that we can share our very best with you.