Smize Cream looks to bring premium ice cream to in-flight menus everywhere


Although Smize Cream founder, Emmy-winning actress-model-producer, Tyra Banks, made quite a splash at the recent APEX/IFSA EXPO in Long Beach, Banks freely admitted that the real star of the show was her ice cream.

Smize Cream is a super-premium ice cream with a sweet, edible surprise, or Smize Surprize, at the bottom of every cup. Launched in 2020, Smize Cream took flight for the first time earlier this summer on an undisclosed airline customer.

Smize Cream is currently available in a variety of flavors, including StrawVeryBerry; Purple Dreams – a purple-hued vanilla ice cream with cookie crumbles and a caramel swirl – Salted Caramel Swirl; and a non-dairy option called Purple Cookie Mon-Star & Me. As Banks pointed out at the EXPO, the best thing about Smize Cream is that the flavors and Smize Surprizes at the bottom of every cup are totally customizable, which could make for some very fun airline-branded shapes and flavors.

APEX Media sat down with Smize Cream’s Ice Cream Scientist, Dr. Maya Warren, to get the scoop on Smize Cream’s mission to bring fun, frozen fabulousness into airplane cabins everywhere.

APEX MEDIA: Talk to me about Smize Cream, where did the idea for the product come from? 

DR. MAYA WARREN: The inspiration for Smize Cream came from the trips our founder, Tyra Banks, and her mother would make to a Häagen-Dazs store near Inglewood, California when she was younger. Tyra just absolutely adored being able to sit around and eat fancy ice cream with her mom and talk about life. You know, share fun, beautiful stories, talk about her dreams for the future, what those dreams meant to her and how she was going to make them come true.

Those are some great memories for Tyra and she really loves ice cream, so, she’s always wanted to figure out how to transfer that feeling to other people. Because a big part of Smize is also about being able to unlock your dreams — it’s even on our packaging. A lot of who we are as a brand is about dreaming. So, we’re much more than just an ice cream company.

APEX: I love that. Ice cream can be tricky to serve in-flight, how have you guys tackled that on the delivery side?

DR. WARREN: As you can imagine, the supply chain on ice cream is critical. I mean, it’s literally everything. When the customer receives it, you want to make sure that the ice cream is as exceptional as it can be, meaning that it hasn’t thawed or melted.

So we go through a pretty strict process to make sure that our supply chain is exactly where it should be and that our temperatures are where they should be and that the ice cream isn’t sitting outside for any duration of time before it gets loaded onto the plane. It’s then kept on dry ice in the galley until it’s served to the passenger, so, Smize Cream is kept solid and intact at every step of the process. We take a lot of pride in the product that we created and, as I said, Tyra is an ice cream connoisseur, so, that attention to detail is everything. 

APEX: All of the flavors I tried are awesome but I noticed you also offer vanilla? 

DR. WARREN: We do! It’s just a classic and since you’ve had our ice cream, you know, it’s elevated. So, we offer a premium vanilla because vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor in the entire world. 

APEX: Really? Not chocolate?

DR. WARREN: Nope. Vanilla. Ours is called The Best Vanilla I Ever Had, and it truly lives up to its name. But the real beauty of our ice cream is that we’re able to easily customize flavors and we’re also able to customize the Smize Surprize at the bottom of the cup as well.

So, for instance, if there’s an airline that has a certain symbol or a widget that they’d like to incorporate into the mix, we can do that. Because of our size, we’re more flexible, so, we’re able to do things that some of the bigger companies can’t. And while volume and minimum order quantity (MOQ) are still important, if an airline or catering hub or anything like that wants a certain flavor, we can customize it pretty quickly. We’re also just different and we think that different is good. 

APEX: Especially for carriers looking to stand out a bit from the pack. 

DR. WARREN: Exactly. Ice cream is one of those foods that no matter where you are in the world, it’s there, every language, every country. It has no boundaries. It has no isms. It truly is a food that brings the world together like no other food can. So for us being able to serve ice cream on flights that fly all around the world is just so key because there are no barriers of entry. It’s ice cream! So, we really want people to just sit back, smize – smile with their eyes – and be totally surprised and delighted as they traverse across the globe eating ice cream on an airplane.