Nondairy topping is a dessert topping that you use in place of a form of cream, such as ice cream, whip cream, pouring cream or spooning cream.
It may be a liquid that you have to whip up, powder that you have to combine with a liquid such as milk and then whip it up, come already whipped, either frozen in a tub, or in a pressurized-can that you squirt it out of, or in a tub to be spooned or poured out.
It made be based on oils from coconut or palm, or soy proteins.
The proof of concept soy-based whip toppings were developed experimentally by Robert Boyer and other researchers at the Carver Laboratories in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan (funded by Henry Ford) in the early 1930s.
The first non-dairy topping was “Delsoy”, introduced to the market by a Robert Smith (who had worked for Carver), and by Herbert Marshall Taylor, in late 1944 or early 1945. It was made in Dearborn, Michigan, and mostly just sold at first in Detroit to restaurants. By 1945, they expanded sales to consumers in stores in New York. But the product never really took off, because it had a limited shelf life.