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Full-flavoured low-calorie ice creams from Wolf Pints ​​will have you howling with pleasure | eat/drink


Wolf Pint’s festive Pulut Tai Tai ice cream is both full flavored and low calorie. — Pictures courtesy of Wolf Pints

KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — Imagine Nyonya kuih transformed into an ice cream. That’s the promise of Pulut Tai Tai, a seasonal flavor by indie ice cream makers Wolf Pints ​​for this year’s Hari Raya festivities.


Every scoop offers a creamy pandan base, interlaced with swirls of homemade kaya and morsels of pulut. Consider each nugget of glutinous rice suffused with coconut milk a tiny treasure, popping up when you least expect it.

A decadent treat for sure, but so worth it when everyone is in a celebratory mood.

Ah, but the decadence lies only in the taste and not the guilt afterwards — Wolf Pints ​​focuses on full-flavoured, low-calorie ice creams.

The trio behind Wolf Pints ​​— Jonathon Ngan, 28, Jen Naik, 29, and Ezra Carvalho Soon, 28 — are friends with a shared love of health and fitness.

The trio behind Wolf Pints ​​(left to right): Jonathon Ngan, Jen Naik and Ezra Carvalho Soon.
The trio behind Wolf Pints ​​(left to right): Jonathon Ngan, Jen Naik and Ezra Carvalho Soon.

None of them comes from a food and beverage (F&B) background, but this has never proven to be a deterrent to any determined entrepreneur before.

According to Naik, the idea of ​​Wolf Pints ​​started with their lifestyle. She says, “The three of us exercise and do our best to eat somewhat healthier. But whenever we craved something sweet, there weren’t many options for affordable and healthy ice creams.”

This is where many startups begin — by identifying a personal pain and investigating where that might extend to a real market demand. In Wolf Pints’ case, they found many others who were just as health and cost conscious.

Not to mention a rather pragmatic take on the entire “calories in vs. calories out” equation.

From humble beginnings with only two flavors to exciting ones such as their Rosé ('ros bandung' with chia seeds and 'nangka').
From humble beginnings with only two flavors to exciting ones such as their Rosé (‘ros bandung’ with chia seeds and ‘nangka’).

As Naik puts it: “It would be a total waste if we burned 300 calories from a workout only to eat 500 calories worth of desserts after. Even a chocolate bar can be 300 calories!”

To put that into perspective, a pint of their Triple Chocolate (a chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate swirls and Oreo cookies) has only 380 calories, which would mean every scoop would be considerably less sinful compared to a bar of commercial chocolate.

Wolf Pints ​​achieves the lower calorie count by reducing the fat content as much as possible. Naik explains, “We replace full cream milk with skim milk powder or low fat milk. We don’t use egg yolks in our ice cream bases. We also use a good ratio of sugar replacement and regular sugar.”

The new Ajisai Matcha flavor is part of Wolf Pint's Niko Neko Matcha series.
The new Ajisai Matcha flavor is part of Wolf Pint’s Niko Neko Matcha series.

The popular Triple Chocolate is one of their earliest flavours, but Wolf Pints ​​began with an even more bare-bones menu of only two flavors — Matcha and Sea Salt Caramel Swirl.

Catering to what their target market recognizes easily meant faster adoption, which was crucial for a new brand.

Today Wolf Pints ​​can afford to be more playful with their flavours. There are notes of nostalgia and autumnal warmth with their refreshing Apple Crumble ice cream, made with fresh tart apples, cinnamon and homemade cookie crumble.

Local influences are also present in flavors such as their Rosé (ros bandung base with chia seeds and nangka) and the aforementioned Pulut Tai Tai.

It’s still hard to believe these are based on traditional desserts yet are far lower in calories; the Pulut Tai Tai has only 410 calories per pint!

Naik adds, “Everything for our Pulut Tai Tai was made in-house because we need the ingredients to be lower in sugar and oil. So all these have to be done internally, from the pulut to the kaya. That way it’s much easier for us to track what and how much goes in.”

Flavors include (clockwise from top left) Triple Chocolate, Biscoff, Strawberry Marshmallow, Oreos Cookies &  Cream, Coffee and Matcha.
Flavors include (clockwise from top left) Triple Chocolate, Biscoff, Strawberry Marshmallow, Oreos Cookies & Cream, Coffee and Matcha.

Beyond incorporating Malaysian nuances into their ice cream flavours, Wolf Pints ​​has also explored collaboration with other local F&B producers. Their Genmai ice cream, for instance, is made with Niko Neko Matcha’s pure roasted brown rice powder.

Naik shares, “We currently have our Niko Neko Matcha series, which consists of using their powders to make low calorie ice creams like Dark Roast Houjicha, Ajisai Matcha and Genmai. All for the matcha lovers!”

On any given day, customers can select from a selection of around 16-20 flavors that are on rotation. Favorites include their Vanilla Chewie Dough, Pistachio, Mint Choco Nibs, Oreos Cookies & Cream, Biscoff and Strawberry Marshmallow (mixed with real strawberries and marshmallows).

Naik says, “We constantly challenge ourselves to create more interesting flavours, to convert people’s guilty pleasures into low-calorie ice creams and to ensure we maintain the standard we have set. We won’t sell what we ourselves won’t enjoy.”

One challenge is not being one dimensional while preserving the low calorie levels. Naik says, “We try to do more interesting flavors that are not so commonly found in low-calorie ice creams like Apple Crumble and Pistachio. Our Skinny Monkey is like Chunky Monkey but the skinny version because it’s low in calories.”

Wolf Pints’ operations have also come a long way since they first started in mid-2020. Back then, the trio did their own deliveries and marketing.

Wolf Pints ​​employs cutaways of ice cream tubs to showcase the ingredients inside.
Wolf Pints ​​employs cutaways of ice cream tubs to showcase the ingredients inside.

They launched their business with a small ice cream machine that produced fewer pints per batch and therefore was more time consuming.

Naik says, “Now close to almost two years later, we have a bigger machine that makes more ice cream in a shorter time. We have also outsourced our delivery using Lalamove though we subsidize some of the delivery fees for our customers so it’ll be more affordable. We’re still doing in-house marketing because it works for us.”

Marketing is indeed one of Wolf Pints’ strong suits. Beyond the typical social media outreach, their design decision to use cutaways of ice cream tubs to showcase the ingredients inside has been a surprising success.

A Salted Caramel Brownie sounds appealing enough but becomes more tantalizing when prospective customers can see the bits of salted caramel and chocolate brownies within.

Wolf Pints ​​employed the same strategy for Chinese New Year a few months ago when they released their Red Velvet Cheesecake flavour.

Cutaways meant quickly and visually informing followers how they used a low-calorie cheesecake recipe for the seasonal ice cream with mouthwatering chunks of red velvet cake and cheese.

Back to basics with Wolf Pints' Sea Salt Caramel Swirl.
Back to basics with Wolf Pints’ Sea Salt Caramel Swirl.

Naik adds, “We plan to start doing other cheesecake flavors as well. It’s not every day you get low calorie cheesecake flavor ice creams. One day, we’ll come out with a vegan series too; hopefully once we nail the consistency and taste!”

Even as they continue to expand and experiment with flavours, the Wolf Pints ​​team has not lost sight of their fundamentals. It’s not about churning out a succession of products but supplying what their regulars and hardcore customers truly desire.

Naik concludes, “The one thing we have learned is that our business is not going to be for everyone, and that’s okay.

“But our business is going to be right for a lot of people, and that’s what matters. One of the more rewarding aspects of doing this was meeting customers who became friends.”

It’s as simple as going back to basics with a scoop of Wolf Pints’ Sea Salt Caramel Swirl. One of their first flavours, the balanced taste of salty and sweet reminds one of moderation in all things. From a lower calorie treat to growing a business slowly but surely.

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