Make Your Own Soft-Serve Ice Cream In 60 Seconds
In the “where has this been all of my life” category, a new Keurig-like machine has been introduced at CES 2021 that will let you make your own soft-serve ice cream from recyclable aluminum pods in around 60 seconds.
This on-demand appliance, called Cold Snap, takes shelf-stable, recyclable ice cream pods in a variety of flavors, freezes them in 60-90 seconds, and dispenses the soft-serve confection into a cup or cone. The manufacturer is also working on the development of pods for frozen coffees, protein shakes, non-dairy ice cream, smoothies, and even frozen cocktails like daiquiris.
How Does It Work?
Consumers will insert ColdSnap pods into the appliance which then reads a special QR code on the packaging to determine the right freezing temperature for the product. The machine then pulls heat from the pod, creating a cooling effect on the liquid mix, engages a part within the pod that churns the ingredients, and air is simultaneously sicked into the pod to make the required loft in the ice cream.
How Did This Come About
Matthew Fonte, the entrepreneur behind ColdSnap, has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Tufts University, and as equally important to the product’s development, is the father of two young daughters. Several years ago, Fonte and his daughters decided to write “invention journals” in lieu of reading the same books at bedtime. Hoola hoops and other toys were typical entries, but one day his daughters asked for an ice cream machine. After explaining to them the typical home ice cream maker process and the cleanup chore, his girls asked, “What about a Keurig machine for ice cream?”
Fonte spent years working with his brother and father in a metalworking business creating rocket motor cases for missiles, then, after selling this business, working to create super elastic orthopedic implants. He took his team from that company to start work on ColdSnap.
It Comes, For Now, With a Hefty Price Tag
Other Keurig-inspired ice cream machines have come and gone because price points have been too high. ColdSnap was originally designed for commercial spaces, like office break rooms, student unions, or even car dealership waiting areas. When Covid struck, Fonte’s company decided to refocus on the home consumer market. Currently priced around $1000, the goal is to take the price down to $500 by switching stainless steel parts for plastic. The pods will cost $2.99 each once launched.
A Greener Machine
One of the biggest complaints by many about Keurig and other pod-based appliances is the inability to recycle their pods. Greenpeace calls these pods “one of the best examples of unnecessary single-use plastics polluting our planet.” They wind up in rivers, lakes, and oceans, eventually breaking down into smaller pieces that choke and kill wildlife. Experts estimate that over 10 billion pods are used every year.
ColdSnap uses recyclable aluminum pods that resemble Red Bull cans which can be rinsed out and added to the recycle bin. In addition, the pods do not need to be kept cold which reduces the carbon footprint of transporting frozen ice cream and generating the power to keep them frozen at home.
Fonte says interest in the US is high and has “thousands” of sign-ups from people to buy the product on their website. He also sees tremendous opportunity in the Indian and Chinese markets where the cold supply chain isn’t as robust and could use a system like ColdSnap. His ultimate goal is that one day, people will be saying, “Remember when ice cream was frozen the whole time? How Crazy is that?”
ColdSnap is set to start selling in early 2022. Mark your calendars!
Sources: CNN, USA Today, Greenpeace