Reddi-wip is a brand of whipped cream that has been around since 1948. It is known for being sold in an aerosol can that dispenses whipped cream by pressing the nozzle. Reddi-wip comes in a few varieties, including regular, extra creamy, and fat free.
In recent years, some consumers have noticed that the fat free Reddi-wip seems to be disappearing from store shelves, leading many to wonder if it has been discontinued. This article will explore whether or not Reddi-wip fat free has in fact been discontinued and provide the facts around this whipped cream product.
Background on Reddi-Wip
Reddi-wip was first introduced in 1948 by Aaron and Poppy Cushman, owners of the dairy company Creamery Package Manufacturing Company (CPMC) in Brooklyn, New York. It was the first whipped cream to be sold in an aerosol spray can, making it convenient and easy to use.
The name “Reddi-wip” comes from the idea that the whipped cream was “ready whipped” right from the can. The spelling with an “i” instead of a “y” was intended to give the product a more playful, fun image.
When it was first sold in 1948, Reddi-wip only came in a dairy version. The company expanded to offer a non-dairy coconut version in 1951 and a fat free version in 1993.
Today, Reddi-wip is owned by Conagra Foods Inc. after a few company acquisitions over the years. The product continues to be popular, especially around holidays when whipped cream is used heavily for desserts and drinks.
Fat Free Reddi-Wip Introduction
In 1993, Reddi-wip introduced a fat free version of its popular whipped cream. This allowed people to enjoy the creamy taste and texture of Reddi-wip without the added fat and calories.
The fat free Reddi-wip contains no fat, 0% milk fat and only 15 calories per serving. It is made with fat free milk, corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
The fat free version contains many of the same ingredients as regular Reddi-wip, including cream and sugar. To make it fat free, the cream is skimmed and processed to remove the fat before being whipped into the final product.
When it was introduced, fat free Reddi-wip offered a tasty, lighter alternative for those looking to reduce fat and calorie intake but still enjoy the experience of whipped cream. It became popular among consumers who wanted the sweet flavor and airy texture without all the fat and calories.
Fat Free Reddi-Wip Production Over the Years
After its initial introduction in 1993, fat free Reddi-wip continued to be produced and sold for over 25 years. It could be found in the dairy or whipped topping aisles of most major grocery stores during that time.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, fat free Reddi-wip was readily available alongside regular and coconut Reddi-wip varieties. Conagra reported steady sales and profits on all Reddi-wip offerings, including fat free.
However, starting in the 2010s, some consumers started noticing fat free Reddi-wip was becoming harder to find in stores. There were sporadic production shortages and distribution problems in certain parts of the country.
These availability issues led to speculation that Conagra may be phasing out fat free Reddi-wip due to decreased consumer demand. But the company did not make any official announcements about discontinuing it.
As of 2022, many grocery stores have empty shelves where fat free Reddi-wip used to be stocked. Shoppers have a difficult time locating it, despite regular and coconut varieties still being widely available.
This had led to growing questions about whether Conagra has quietly discontinued its fat free Reddi-wip whipped topping offering after 30 years on the market.
Consumer Demand for Fat Free Options
One potential reason for discontinuing fat free Reddi-wip could be decreased consumer demand. Over the last decade, consumer preferences and nutrition priorities have changed.
When fat free Reddi-wip was introduced in the 1990s, fat-free and low fat products were all the rage. Consumer concerns about fat intake and calories led brands to develop no fat and low fat alternatives of popular food items.
However, more recently, attitudes toward fat have been shifting. The rise of high protein, low carb diets like Keto and Paleo have put less emphasis on fat reduction. And newer research has shown healthy fats are an important part of nutrition.
Some consumers these days look for food options with less sugar and carbs instead of just low fat. The ingredient labels of fat free items often reveal increased sugar to make up for lack of fat.
So fat free whipped cream may not align with current consumer priorities focused on less processed foods with simple, natural ingredients. The decreased interest in fat free food could explain why sales of fat free Reddi-wip may have declined.
Supply Chain Issues
Another probable factor in Reddi-wip fat free’s disappearance is ongoing supply chain disruptions. Like many food manufacturers, Conagra has likely faced challenges with ingredient shortages, production delays, transportation bottlenecks, and labor problems over the last few years.
Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukraine war, and climate issues have severely impacted nearly all parts of the food supply chain. This has made it extremely difficult for companies to reliably produce and distribute their products.
Conagra has openly discussed supply challenges across many of its brands through 2022. The company has had trouble getting ingredients, packing materials, and finished products to stores in a timely manner.
To deal with this, Conagra has prioritized producing and shipping its highest-demand, most profitable products first. This allows them to maximize limited production capacity and transportation availability.
It is possible Conagra made the strategic decision to temporarily stop production of fat free Reddi-wip due to supply chain obstacles. Since it is likely one of their less popular varieties, it may have fallen off the priority list.
The Discontinuation Debate
Despite the apparent lack of fat free Reddi-wip availability over the last several years, Conagra has not officially announced it is discontinuing the product. The company has not released any public statement or press release about removing it from the lineup of Reddi-wip offerings.
When directly asked if it has been discontinued, Conagra has given vague responses that neither confirm nor deny it has been permanently stopped. Customer service representatives say it is “currently unavailable” or “out of stock”.
Some loyal fat free Reddi-wip consumers cling to hope that this means the product may come back at some point. But after 2-3 years of scarcity, many feel it is unlikely to return and has been quietly dropped by Conagra.
Grocery stores also have not been able to provide clarity, with most removing empty fat free Reddi-wip shelves after extended periods without restock. Retailers do not have information on when or if it will be available again.
The lack of official word from Conagra means the debate continues on whether fat free Reddi-wip has been discontinued for good. For consumers who still desire this product, the only option is to attempt to find it in stores where remaining inventory may exist.
Finding Fat Free Reddi-Wip in Stores
For those still seeking fat free Reddi-wip, it can be found in some stores, but takes extra effort and hunting. Here are some tips for locating remaining inventory:
- Check smaller, independent grocery stores – smaller regional chains are less likely to have cleared shelves
- Search store dairy or whipped topping sections thoroughly – sometimes hidden behind other items
- Ask grocery managers if they have any in the back or expects shipments
- Be willing to check multiple stores across various chains
- Call ahead to stores to check availability before going
- Inquire at warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s since they buy in bulk
- Monitor online grocery delivery sites for availability in your zip code
- Set up alerts/notifications for if it comes back in stock
The above tips may allow diehard fat free Reddi-wip fans to find some cans sporadically still lingering on shelves. But it requires persistence and dedication to search.
Fat Free Whipped Topping Alternatives
If fat free Reddi-wip proves impossible to find in stores, there are a few alternative fat free whipped cream options:
- Cool Whip Free – popular brand of zero fat whipped topping
- Truly Free – fat free dairy whipped topping with only 10 calories per serving
- Whip It! Real Whipped Cream – fat free real cream, not hydrogenated oil
- Dean’s – dairy brand that offers fat free whipped cream
- Jet-Puffed – marshmallow creme can substitute in desserts needing whipped texture
- Make your own – whip heavy whipping cream mixed with milk and sweetener
While not exactly the same taste and texture, these provide a similar fat free whipped cream experience. Consumers have options if Reddi-wip fat free stays off shelves.
The Bottom Line
So has Reddi-wip fat free been discontinued? The answer is unclear. But the product has been increasingly difficult to find in stores for at least the last 2-3 years.
Conagra’s evasive responses when asked about fat free Reddi-wip’s status suggest it may be gone for good. Supply chain challenges likely made it difficult to justify continued production and distribution to stores.
And decreased consumer demand for fat free foods means sales were probably declining as preferences changed. But without official confirmation, some retain optimism it could return someday.
For now, locating remaining stock takes dedication and luck. But other fat free whipped topping options exist for consumers craving the light, fluffy texture.
Hope remains that Conagra could revive its popular Fat Free Reddi-Wip if supply issues improve and consumer interest returns. But the outlook seems doubtful after its long absence from shelves. Fans should stock up if they spot any canisters remaining in the wild.