Someone Has Made a Late-Night-Optimized Ice Cream

Nightfood is billed as a 'sleep-friendly' choice for midnight snackers.

Late-night ice cream eaters (you know who you are), a product has been introduced with you squarely in mind: Nightfood, an ice cream that claims to be scientifically optimized for midnight snackers.

The team behind Nightfood, which includes three sleep and nutrition experts and chef Chris Santos (of “Chopped” judge fame), set out to create an ice cream that includes ingredients that minimize sleep disruption. That meant cutting out or down on the sugar, caffeine, calories and fat found in other ice creams that may get in the way of a good night of zzz’s, formulating a recipe that aimed to reduce “lactose digestion issues, acid reflux, blood sugar spikes, and the like,” and adding minerals and amino acids believed to support solid sleeping.

“When developing Nightfood ice cream, Nightfood's team of sleep experts made sleep-friendly decisions regarding details like mineral content, protein sources, fiber, sugars, enzymes, amino acids, sodium content, the exclusion of erythritol (a sugar alcohol), and more,” the company said via email.

Make no mistake, Nightfood does not claim to induce sleep. It contains no sleep aids, drugs or dietary supplements. It simply suggests that it might be a better ice cream option, from a sleep perspective, for people who like to dig into a bowl of the cold stuff before hitting the hay.

Late night snackers tend to eat less healthily than they may earlier in the day, treating themselves to foods that are sweet (30 percent), comforting (25 percent) or indulgent (22 percent), the market research firm Mintel maintains. Nightfood suggests that 80 percent of all at-home ice cream eating takes place in the hours leading up to bedtime – and that that’s just not a good recipe for a great night’s sleep.

“We know there are tens of millions of people already eating ice cream before bed on any given night,” the company asserts on the product website. “For those people that are going to eat ice cream anyway, Nightfood is a better choice because of its better-for-you and sleep-friendly nutritional profile.”

The eight flavors in its cutely named debut lineup – Full Moon Vanilla, Midnight Chocolate, After Dinner Mint Chip, Cold Brew Decaf, Cookies N’ Dreams, Milk & Cookie Dough, Cherry Eclipse, and Bed and Breakfast – contain about as many calories per pint as a pint of Halo Top ice cream, and its fat, fiber and protein content seems roughly comparable as well. However, Nightfood’s vanilla contains no sugar alcohol to Halo Top vanilla’s 5 grams.

Still, is the world really waiting for this?

“While people may not be walking around every day saying I need to find a better ice cream for night time, I think when they see Nightfood on the shelf and it says ‘nighttime ice cream,’ … that’s going to stop people dead in their tracks,” Nightfood CEO Sean Folkson told FoodNavigator-USA ahead of the product’s current gradual rollout. “If you’re already eating ice cream at night, how could you not give it a try?”

Nightfood, which retails for $5.99/pint, is currently available online (here and here) and in stores in Ohio and Michigan, with an expectation of nationwide availability in the next year or so.

We all scream for nighttime-optimized ice cream, right?

Photo courtesy of Nightfood

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