Cool Whip is a brand of imitation whipped cream, referred to as whipped topping by its manufacturer. It is used in North America as a dessert topping and in some no-bake pie recipes. It was originally described as "non-dairy" as it contained neither cream nor milk and no lactose; however, it did contain the milk derivative caseinate . In 2010 both skimmed milk and light cream were added to Original Cool Whip.
Cool Whip was introduced in 1966 by the Birds Eye division of General Foods. Within two years of introduction, it became the largest and most profitable product in the Birds Eye line of products. Birds Eye later merged with Kraft Foods and Philip Morris, eventually becoming part of Altria Group until the spin-off of Kraft Foods from Altria in 2006. In July 2015 Kraft merged with Heinz to be known as the Kraft Heinz Company. It is now the most eaten brand of whipped topping in the U.S.
Cool Whip was created in 1966 by senior scientist Dr. William A. "Bill" Mitchell, a prolific food scientist at General Foods. The key advantage of the invention was that it was a whipped cream-like product that could be distributed in a frozen state by grocery chains and kept in the consumer's refrigerator. Lever Brothers was eventually purchased by the General Foods Corporation.
Cool Whip is manufactured in Avon, New York for the United States and Canadian markets. It is sold in 8 oz. (226 g) and larger plastic tubs produced by Berry Plastics and is distributed through grocery outlets in a frozen state, and is refrigerated in the home prior to serving. Each nine gram serving provides 25 kcal (105 kJ) energy of which 1.5 g or 15 kcal (63 kJ) are fat.
The varieties currently sold are Original, Extra Creamy, French Vanilla, Light, Free (fat-free), and Sugar-Free, made with nutra sweet. Strawberry is sold seasonally, typically in the summer. French Vanilla and chocolate are also seasonal flavors, typically being sold around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fall 2011, a new flavor, cinnamon, was introduced along with French vanilla and chocolate. In Canada the Fat-Free variety is labeled as Ultra-low Fat.
To date, Cool Whip is one of the most preferred whipped topping brands in the USA. A survey conducted in early 2015 across 24,000 American households evaluated consumption of whipped topping brands between 2011 and early 2015. The results determined that Cool Whip was the preferred whipped topping product, accounting for nearly 45% of respondents for all periods in the survey. Reddi-Whip was a distant second in this survey showing an 18% preference from survey respondents.
Cool Whip Original is made of water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (including coconut and palm oils), high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, skimmed milk, light cream, and less than 2% sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), natural and artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, and beta carotene (as a coloring). Only in Canada is Cool Whip produced and is available in an aerosol can using nitrous oxide as a propellant. Cool Whip was formerly marketed as non-dairy, but in Jewish dietary traditions, Cool Whip was classified as dairy rather than parve (non-meat and non-dairy) because of the sodium caseinate (which is derived from milk). Cool Whip now contains milk and cream.
- "U.S.: Most eaten brands of whipped topping (cream type) 2011-2014". Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- Mark Steyn, "Tastemaker With a Sweet Tooth", The Atlantic, November 2004
- Kraft Tells Schumer That Cool Whip Plant In Avon Is Unlikely To Close
- U.S. households: Most eaten brands of whipped topping (cream type) from 2011 to 2015
- "Cool Whip." Kraft Foods, 2008.