Dairy Dialog podcast 145: Bubbies, LiquiGlide, Unified Brands
LiquiGlide tackles food waste through technology
Around 76% of older millennials (ages 33 to 40) think climate change poses a serious threat to society, and these concerns are influencing how they spend their money, including the products they use and companies they support. When it comes to saving the health of our planet, CPG brands are in a pivotal position to make a significant impact.
LiquiGlide is a US-headquartered company that has developed a technology enabling viscous products to flow easily and make them completely recyclable.
Spun out of the Varanasi Lab at MIT, LiquiGlide has raised more than $50m and is working with leading global companies in packaging, manufacturing, and medical devices to commercialize the first-ever durable slippery coatings that eliminate waste and appeal to consumers.
The application is suitable for a range of products, including within the dairy and dairy alternatives sectors, and is currently being used by Colgate for toothpaste.
The company said more than 50bn packages are sold sold every year containing viscous products, and there is enough product left in these packages to fill 110,000 semi-trucks.
LiquiGlide said not only does its technology help eliminate this waste, but it also makes non-recyclable packaging recyclable and helps companies reach increasingly important sustainability goals.
LiquiGlide’s food packaging coatings made from common, food-safe ingredients that don’t impact the quality of the product while unlocking new possibilities for ease of use and the value of getting every last drop out of the container. Products such as cream cheese that are sold in bricks and tubs can now be in user-friendly, no waste bottles, the company said.
Bubbies launches plant-based offerings
Bubbies Ice Cream, US producer of mochi, has announced the debut of three new non-dairy mochi flavors in 6-pack retail boxes: Vegan Strawberry Mochi, Vegan Chocolate Mochi, and a newly-created flavor, Vegan Mango Mochi.
Made with a base of coconut milk and wrapped in mochi dough, the new varieties are now available in select Whole Foods Market and Gelson’s Market locations with additional retailers to follow. This summer, the new line will also come in a variety box at select Costco stores.
According to SPINS, the total plant-based marketplace is growing 29% year-over-year, more than double the 11% growth rate of mainstream products in refrigerated, frozen and grocery departments. Additionally, there is similar high growth in the plant-based frozen novelties segment with a 20% increase, adding more than $170m to the segment, according to a report from SPINS.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in demand from consumers seeking comforting indulgences over the past year, so it’s natural that ice cream would be one of the first foods they turned to,” said Katie Cline, vice president of marketing at Bubbies Ice Cream.
“Not only are shoppers looking for ice cream as a comfort food, but also as a unique experience – from texture to flavor discovery and natural ingredients. We want to make our beloved mochi ice cream accessible to as many people as possible, so we’re thrilled to be launching our new Vegan Mochi Ice Cream.”
Bubbies Vegan Mochi Ice Cream, at 80 calories a piece, are certified vegan, gluten-free, and Non-GMO Project verified.
Bubbies Vegan Mochi can be purchased online via the brand’s website and select Whole Foods Market and Gelson’s Market locations. The new line retails for $5.99-$6.99 per 6-pack box. Bubbies Vegan Mochi Ice Cream in Strawberry and Chocolate are also available in individually wrapped pieces in the bakery section at Whole Foods Market locations nationwide.
Reducing cheese waste at pizza restaurants with Unified Brands' new Cheeser Station
US foodservice equipment manufacturer Unified Brands, part of Dover, has introduced the Randell Cheeser Station designed to help pizza restaurants minimize cheese waste and create a more consistent product.
The Cheeser Station features a refrigerated holding bin that can accommodate up to 25 pounds of cheese and a stainless-steel grate to hold the pizza during preparation. Cheese that doesn't land on the pizza falls back in the holding bin rather than going to waste on the floor or prep table.
"It may not feel like much when it's only a few shreds of cheese per pizza, but that waste adds up over time and can hurt profits," said Dave Rademacher, Randell product manager.
"With the Cheeser Station, pizza operations can rest assured knowing they are minimizing cheese waste, one of pizza's most expensive ingredients."
The new equipment also includes a scale option for pizza makers to measure their desired amount of cheese for each pizza, helping them create a consistent product. With the combination of eliminating cheese waste and controlling cheese use at the desired level, the company said operators could see payback within six months.
"Creating a simple, effective prep process for employees and ensuring a consistent product for customers makes all the difference, particularly for pizza restaurants with multiple locations," said Brent Barkley, Unified Brands senior director of strategic brand management (Randell & Avtec).
"The Cheeser Station does just that."
The Cheeser Station is 24 inches wide, 33 inches deep and 35 inches tall and runs on an energy efficient R290 compressor system with visible external electronic controls for quick verification of proper settings. The holding bin uses cold-wall conductive cooling to keep the product at a safe temperature. A sealed inside with a clean-out port makes it easy to clean and sanitize the pan opening, the company said.