MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Can ice cream ever be healthy? One brand is attracting more ice cream lovers with a promise of low calories and less guilt.
Over the summer, Halo Top Creamery became the best-selling pint of ice cream in the country, beating big names like Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs.
The first Halo Top shop opened last month and more are planned.
For Justin Woolverton this was even better than being a kid in a candy store. The “halo top” ice cream CEO was inside an L.A. mall previewing his company’s first offering of soft serve flavors.
“Ha ha it’s pretty fun. It’s kind of surreal,” said Woolverton.
Surreal because just a few years ago, Woolverton was a litigator at a big name L.A. law firm and hating his career.
“You just decide to jump off a cliff and take a risk,” said Woolverton.
It was all prompted by a pop-up ad.
Woolverton bought a twenty-dollar machine back in 2011 and his homemade concoction with all natural ingredients sparked an idea.
“And it was this eureka moment, where it tasted extremely good, even though it didn’t have any sugar. It was rich in protein. It was all natural….So I was like, ‘Hey! You know what? Here is my escape from law,” said Woolverton.
He found a partner, Doug Bouton, another disgruntled lawyer willing to go deep in debt to make ice cream. It hit stores in 2012, but didn’t sell.
Targeting millennials, they turned to social media, sending pints to YouTube influencers but the key selling point became about calories!
An entire pint has as many as a single serving of other ice creams. Sales skyrocketed to 17 million hard-packed pints in 2016.
Under the lid it reads, “Stop when you hit the bottom” and “guilt-free zone, keep digging.”
But Samantha Heller, a registered dietician, says the slogans aren’t healthy for those struggling with portion control
“When the ice cream company tells you to eat the whole thing, its encouraging bulk eating and binge eating,” said Heller.
The company is pushing to keep up with demand, churning out about 650 thousand pints a day.
“It could be the number one selling ice cream in the world,” said Woolverton. “That is my dream.”
It’s a dream for him and the best bite of reality for true ice cream lovers