Dr. Oetker Stories

A classic goes plant-based: The development of vegan rice pudding

Dr. Oetker LoVE it! sweet rice is the plant-based alternative to classic rice pudding for anyone looking for a vegan treat. We take you inside the product development and the colleagues explain where the challenges lay in the development process of the vegan cup products.

A classic goes plant-based: The development of vegan rice pudding

22.10.2023 Products and Services

Rice pudding or semolina pudding are real classics and have been part of Dr. Oetker's range for a long time. Now, vegans no longer have to live without these delicious desserts. Why the plant-based version of the popular classic is not only interesting for people who follow a vegan diet is explained by our Dessert Product Development team. 

Rice pudding is a favourite among young and old and can be eaten as a main meal, snack or dessert. Whether just plain, with cinnamon and sugar, hot berries or other individual variations: The wide variety of ways it can be eaten is certainly one reason for the popularity of this well-known dessert. The history of rice pudding, on the other hand, is not as clear as its popularity: where the dish came from and who first created it is not clearly documented.

Rice pudding has a long tradition at Dr. Oetker

Dr. Oetker has included rice pudding products in its range for more than 30 years: starting with "Fruchtzauber" (cherry jelly with rice pudding, 1991), which has long since disappeared from the market, through classics such as Süße Mahlzeit rice pudding (in the range since 1999) to modern innovations such as High Protein rice pudding (since 2021). The latest rice pudding innovation from Dr. Oetker is the product LoVE it! Plant-Based Sweet Rice Pudding: with this and just 150 ml of plant drink it is possible to conjure up a delicious, vegan rice pudding in just a few minutes, which can be enjoyed warm straight away.

LoVE it! Plant-Based Sweet Rice

From the briefing to the finished dessert powder

But how did we actually come up with the idea of launching a plant-based rice pudding on the market with our vegan sub-brand LoVE it!? Our dessert product development team can explain: Ines Schoemaker and Claudia Hinney are responsible for the range of vegan cup products, which, in addition to vegan rice pudding, also includes vegan versions of semolina pudding, chocolate pudding and caramel pudding. All four products can be prepared in just a few minutes with 150 ml of plant drink heated in a coffee cup in the microwave.

Dessert powder is thrown into a glass of milk

Initially, the marketing instructions were that the product should be prepared with hot water. There were several challenges in the development process: First, it was not possible to use the existing know-how from the product development of the LoVE it! "So we had to procure and try out a lot of new raw materials," recalls Ines Schoemaker (Team Lead Product Development Dessert).

In addition, the vegan rice pudding in particular was a complicated task: "With classic rice pudding, many people appreciate the creamy consistency and the creamy, delicious taste of milk. After the first tests, it seemed almost impossible to achieve these two aspects perfectly when prepared with hot water," explains Claudia Hinney (Product Developer Dessert). This was also confirmed in the first product tests in the Dr. Oetker sensory department: "Mouthfeel" and " missing milk taste" were the central points of criticism.

So we rethought and focused on the preparation with a plant drink when revising the recipe. This is how the product LoVE it! Plant-Based Sweet Rice, as it is available today. "As originally intended, it can also be prepared with hot water, but the best taste experience is achieved with an individually selectable plant drink," Claudia Hinney knows.  

Vegan rice pudding is not only for vegans

And not only vegans or flexitarians benefit from the innovation: "The Plant-Based Sweet Rice is also a great way for people with lactose intolerance to enjoy a creamy, full-bodied rice pudding without cow's milk," reveals Ines Schoemaker. Of course, this also applies to the three other varieties of the plant-based cup products from LoVE it!  

Product Development Dessert sits together for a taste test

In addition to the plant-based dessert powders, the LoVEit! range also includes, for example, plant-based baking mixes for brownies and muffins. In our story "Juicy, simple, vegan! - The road to plant-based baking mixes", we will also take you with us into the process of product creation.

LoVE it! Cup Products