The soy sauce ice cream is back! Haday releases two new flavours

Less than a year ago, Haday (海天味业, sometimes called Haitian) shocked both the industry and consumers with the release of its soy sauce-flavoured ice cream. As the days start to get warmer, Haday has returned with two new flavours and after a brief teaser on 9 April, were announced on 10 and 11 April.

The new flavours include a soy sauce mochi ice cream, which Haday describes as a “plus” version of the original. The other flavour is a bit left-field, as it’s an apple cider vinegar-flavoured sorbet. It seems to follow the formula of mix-and-match and if both among the many elements can match, then the result should be fine overall.

Last summer, Haday swept the social platforms with its ice cream. On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the official topic “Haday soy sauce ice cream” (#海天酱油冰淇淋#) quickly amassed over 160 million views, while the user-generated topic “soy sauce ice cream goes to your head” (#酱油冰淇淋有多上头#) reached the Hot-Search list. On Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese sister app, the former also reached 30 million views in a month.

The first release had most people wondering what the taste could be. Innovation and the element of surprise was how the ice cream went viral in the first place. It reportedly tastes quite good, with netizens comparing it to milky sea salt ice cream, but with added umami from the soy sauce. It also comes after Maotai’s liquor ice cream from 2022 and was followed by Tsingtao’s beer-flavoured ice cream earlier this year. Interestingly, the soy sauce dairy product idea seems to have caught on as for April Fool’s Day this year, beverage chain Sweet 7 and condiment brand Totole collaborated on a soy sauce-flavoured cheese top milk tea. The twist is that customers can add soy sauce to the tea to prank their friends.

For the second release, Haday went back to the drawing board with two new flavours. As netizens react, it seems without the initial impact of the first release and people being able to imagine the flavours, the reaction is generally favourable. As both novelty-flavoured ice creams and soy sauce-flavoured dairy products become popular and topical, there is little wonder Haday brought back the viral phenomenon for another year. It is also commendable how they worked on the flavours to make them more appealing compared to the shock value of the previous edition.


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