Warm Ice Cream--Nestle Designs Large Scale Social Systems

I was a co-host at BIF5 last week (Business Innovation Factory) and had a wonderfully insightful public conversation with Helmut Traitler, the Vice President of Innovation Partnerships for Nestlé who talked about warm ice cream. Yes, warm ice cream, an oxymoron to my ears.

But not to Helmut’s. He explained that if you could transport ice cream when it was room temperature and freeze it at the retail point, the savings in energy costs could be enormous. I added that the saving in CO2 and other pollutants from the special fleet of refrigerated trucks could be enormous as well.

So Nestle is really thinking about the design of large-scale systems when it thinks about warm ice cream. If the company can pull it off—and it is a big technical if—it will have introduced a powerful disruptive innovation into the ice cream biz that has seriously important business and social consequences. The big “if,” of course, is how do you create an ice cream that you can move over long distances and then freeze at the point of sale? Helmut talked about the special “foam” of ice cream that needs to be generated.

I’d love to learn more about ice cream “foam.” Anyone in this conversation up on the technology of ice cream foam?

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