A healthy indulgence? Dutch start-up adds prebiotic fibre to ice cream

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/subjug)
(Image: Getty/subjug)

Related tags Fibre Ice cream start-up

Dutch start-up Koupe makes a sugar, fat and calorie-reduced ice cream with added protein and fibre, which founder Jaco Pieper says appeals to “people that love ice cream, and are looking for additional health benefits”.

Unlike conventional ice cream, Koupe lists milk, whey protein and a prebiotic fibre polydextrose among its ingredients.

“This is how we present Koupe: not only has it reduced sugar, fat and calories, it actually offers something extra for your health – protein and fibre,” ​founder Jaco Pieper told FoodNavigator.

While the amount of fibre differs slightly according to flavour – whether it be salted caramel, banana, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry – approximately 5 g of fibre is present per 100 g of ice cream.

Koupe's banana ice cream

The polydextrose is added to the ice cream during the production process. As the prebiotic fibre is not digested, it has an energy value of just 1 kcal per gram.

According to Pieper, fibre provides a range of benefits, including weight management. When fibre replaces higher calorie ingredients, such as fat or sugars, polydextrose may help reduce calorie intake, he said.

In addition, polydextrose can help lower blood sugar levels and increase prebiotic activity. “It is believed that a prebiotic selectively increases the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria and/or bifidobacteria,” ​he continued.

Inside the tub

According to Pieper, Koupe ice cream contains more dietary fibre than a serving of broccoli, and a quarter of the sugars – and half the calories – of conventional ice cream.

His recipe uses milk rather than cream, together with whey protein isolate, polydextrose, glucose syrup, sweetener (xylitol), fructose, stabiliser and emulsifier.

With approximately 9.4 g of sugar, Koupe claims its ice cream contains less sugar than a fresh apple.

While Pieper has observed increased interest in dietary fibre across the food industry, he said the combination of Koupe’s different claims is what sets the product apart: “People are increasingly looking for products which can make multiple health claims.”

With that said, consumers are primarily looking for great tasting ice cream, he continued. “All other things come second.

“Koupe is a healthy indulgence. We are appealing to people that love ice cream, and are looking for additional health benefits.”

kantar worldpanel
Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Point of difference

Koupe, which launched in the Netherlands in 2017, has a number of rivals in the reduced calorie, high protein ice cream market.

The main competitors are Halo Top ice cream, which markets itself as high protein and low calorie, reduced calorie and sugar ice cream brand Oppo, and Breyers ice cream – which also touts high protein and reduced calorie as its point of difference.

None of these brands, however, make fibre claims in their advertising, said Pieper, setting the Dutch brand apart in the European market.

Koupe is available in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Qatar, Denmark, Lithuania and Norway. The start-up is interested in launching and the UK and is currently in discussions with different retailers.

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