Two guys wanted to have healthier ice cream, now they have Calli
By Reenassri Sekaran
We’ve all been there. After a really satisfying lunch, there’s nothing better to beat the Malaysian heat with a scoop or two of ice cream. After all, there’s always an excuse for ice cream right?
However, ice cream in its essence, means refined sugar, full fat cream or milk, artificial flavours, additives and all those extra calories we feel guilty for.
So to those who are always looking for a way to enjoy that guilty-pleasure dessert but are weary of its fattening side effects, why not look for Calli Ice Cream?
We spoke to one of Calli’s sweet-toothed owners, Nathaniel Loe on their new venture. Calli is actually a joint venture between Lush Protein owners, Mohammad Dzarrin Alidin and Nathaniel himself.
Two men’s quest for the perfect treat
“Calli is actually our second business. We actually dipped our feet into sports nutrition about six years ago when we started Lush Protein. We wanted to find a new way to get protein delivered to our customers,” explained Nathaniel.
So why ice cream? “Selfish reasons – I love ice cream,” he jokes.“We began looking at snacks in particular and noticed that the options available in the market were not so great – nutrition wise. Snacks come in a lot of forms; be it cookies and cakes, however we found that ice cream stood out as one format that would work really well with our proteins. Generally speaking, it’s a well-loved dessert, and the idea initially was to come up with high protein ice cream.”
“We began testing, R&D, all the way from focus groups to speaking to existing and potential customers and we identified the one thing most of them had in common – calories. The guilty feeling after consuming the cold, sugary treat was the main issue. We realised this was the main issue that we ought to tackle first. That was how Calli was born. I understand it’s not a new idea, but definitely a new one in Malaysia and we’re happy to be the first ones to do it.”
A pint of goodness
“Our low-calorie ice cream is one-third the calorie of your premium ice cream in the market. Calli also differs in terms of it having a higher protein content, low GI and fibre content –there are plenty of benefits that comes with a single scoop, so to speak. We kept it in mind not to compromise the taste and texture because we didn’t want consumers to have the misconception that a ‘healthy ice cream’ would lack in taste and texture when compared to a normal ice cream. We even got our friends and family involved in the taste test,” he mention joyfully.
“Calli was launched around November last year – we started selling them online in Malaysia and in February, we launched them in Village Grocer’s all over Malaysia. We just launched them in Singapore – you can find them at NTUC. Calli has found its home in over 50 grocery stores across Malaysia and Singapore.”
What’s your flavour?
Currently Calli offers a range of four flavours such as Choc-a-lot, Caramel-by-the-sea, Durian Durian and Earl Grey Teh.
“Our ingredients and flavouring are all real – the durian is D24 durian pulp which Malaysian is blessed with, the chocolate ice cream uses Belgian chocolate for a richer taste, the Earl Grey Teh flavour is done by steeping Earl Grey tea leaves to extract that distinct bergamot flavour, and we also caramelise the sugar ourselves for the salted caramel flavour.”
Currently marketed in pints, they hope to introduce single servings like bars or single scoops.
Being a fellow lover of desserts, Nathaniel gave us spoons and we started our ice cream taste test. The Durian Durian ice cream have managed to keep its authentic flavour with its rich, creamy and familiarly pungent body of flavour.
However, the award has got to go to the Earl Grey Teh. There is a somewhat soothing taste to it. It is quite impressive to have such a robust tea flavour in our ice creams. It was just the right amount of sweet while also having that slight tea bitterness. As we would call it, a sweet and floral flavour profile.
We had almost forgotten that the ice cream we had was a much healthier one compared to others, and therefore was having no problem satisfying our ice cream fix – without the guilt. — The Health
There are four flavours currently in the market, Choc-a-lot, Caramel-by-the-sea, Durian Durian and Earl Grey Teh