Napa Valley, Calif. – May 17, 2021 – At one point, after eating a bowl of his favorite ice cream, George Haymaker had a revelation. “I realized I was transferring addictions, and I had to do something about it,” he recalls. In recovery from addiction to alcohol and pain pills, and seeking sources of comfort and joy, Haymaker often found himself reaching for the treat he had loved since childhood: rich, creamy, decadent ice cream. But he realized that the high levels of sugar in ice cream, and his difficulty digesting dairy, was negatively affecting his health. He wanted the sense of contentment he felt while eating the dessert, but he wondered how to fit it into the healthier lifestyle to which he had committed.
Like millions of Americans looking for healthier options, and seeking an ice cream compromise, Haymaker tried every option available: plant-based, low-sugar, low-carb, lactose-free. None satisfied him. Each alternative lacked something – texture, taste, or both – but he couldn’t let it go. He became preoccupied with the idea of having it all: an indulgent, creamy, delicious ice cream that worked with his body and lifestyle, not against it.
It turned out that, in order to have it all, Haymaker would have to create a new kind of ice cream from scratch.
He began to research alternatives, learning a good deal about food science along the way, and worked with experts to formulate what came to be called ReThink Ice Cream, a name that evoked his renewed, healthier approach to life, as well as a reimagined dessert.
The primary issue Haymaker wanted to address was seemingly impossible to get around: he wanted to make a real dairy ice cream that was low in sugar, tasted great, and would be easy to digest for the 100 million Americans (and far more people worldwide) who experience some form of dairy intolerance. His research showed that while most people assume the cause of their discomfort is lactose intolerance, for many, the culprit is actually the A1 casein protein. That protein chain became prevalent in dairy cows around thirty years ago, when ranchers began crossbreeding cows to produce more milk. The problem is that, at no time in human evolution had we encountered that protein, and millions of people simply can’t digest it.
The solution? Sourcing dairy from specific dairy cows – cows the way they used to be before they were crossbred. These cows, called A2/A2 cows, do not have the A1 protein chain that many of us have trouble digesting. That A2/A2 dairy is then made lactose-free by ReThink, removing the other major source of digestive issues. Haymaker also learned that many low-sugar ice creams contained another culprit that left people feeling bloated and even nauseated: sugar alcohol, like Erythritol or Xylitol. He resolved to make ReThink Ice Cream without sugar alcohol, ensuring that it would be completely tummy-friendly. “We are the only brand that has provided the complete solution for the causes of dairy intolerance,” says Haymaker, “without sacrificing on taste and texture.”
Another major issue to tackle in this quest was making ice cream that delivers on taste and texture without using so much sugar. ReThink Ice Cream is sweetened primarily with a touch of organic agave nectar, which is sweeter than regular sugar and therefore can be used in far smaller quantities, resulting in ice cream that has two-thirds less sugar than traditional ice cream. Agave also has a low glycemic index, making it an attractive option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake, and especially for those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic – conditions that affect 115 million Americans.
ReThink Ice Cream completed its mission to provide a healthier option by using all-natural ingredients, including prebiotic fiber, whey protein isolate and marine collagen, which improves skin elasticity, boosts metabolism, and is good for joints, bones and teeth. ReThink Ice Cream is also 100 percent gluten-free. It is available in ten flavors, including more traditional options like Chocolate Majesty and Vanilla Supreme, and creative combinations like Cardamom Pistachio, Black Cherry Vanilla and Lemon Poppy Seed.
Fast forward several years, and Haymaker now serves as founder and CEO of ReThink Ice Cream, a profitable company with its product featured in 500 retail stores on the West Coast. Its relationships with the two largest national ice cream distributors, KeHe and UNFI, mean that ReThink is poised to expand nationally without delay. The company also works closely with the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) for networking and marketing support.
Keenly aware of the vast and fast-growing market for better-for-you and non-dairy ice creams – estimated at $4.5 billion, a significant piece of the $14 billion total ice cream market – Haymaker is gratified to have developed a product that is unique in that space, offering an authentic dairy ice cream, rich in flavor and texture, that is not only tummy-friendly, but low in sugar and diabetic-friendly as well. His initial quest to find a healthier option for himself that didn’t require him to give up what he loved has led to an uncompromising vision for a rapidly growing company, ready to spread comfort and joy all over the world.
For more information on ReThink Ice Cream and opportunities to invest, visit their MicroVentures page.
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