March 16, 2021

Transitions: David Mintz, Founder of Tofutti, Dead at 89

David Mintz, the founder of Tofutti, died last week at the age of 89. Mr. Mintz’s revolutionary idea to replace dairy with tofu was a game changer for kosher adherents who are not permitted to mix meat and dairy. Tofutti became a favorite dessert item at kosher meals.

Born and raised in an Orthodox section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Mintz discovered there was a need for a non-dairy substitute for observant Jews that could not mix meat and milk. Mintz owned several kosher delis in New York and decided to experiment with tofu after learning that the versatile soy product could help him develop kosher products for his stores. The invention consisted of "tofu emulsified with vegetable oil and mixed with alfalfa honey and other ingredients, which together took on a butter-fatty texture," the New York Times explained. Mintz went on to expand his products to include tofu-based cheeses, ice cream bars, pizza, ravioli and more. Today, Tofutti is part of a non-dairy ice cream market that will be worth $1.2 billion by 2025, Grub Street reported.