US ice cream maker Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, majority owned by Swiss food giant Nestlé, has said it achieved 68% sales growth in its light ice cream business in 2004, helped by the launch of Dreyer’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream, an improved version of its Dreyer’s Grand Light ice cream.

Last year, Dreyer’s CEO, T. Gary Rogers, announced that the company had made a technological breakthrough in creating a premium reduced-fat light ice cream after five years of research.

In 2004 Dreyer’s said it increased its market share from one-third to one-half of the highly fragmented light ice cream business.

“The upside potential of the untapped light ice cream market is staggering,” said Rogers. “We project our 2005 growth will rival that of 2004, and we predict that Slow Churned Light Ice Cream sales will grow to rival our full-fat ice cream sales by 2007.”