Sustainable Ice Cream is Coming?
Unilever, owner of the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream brand, has been hard at work for over a decade in an effort to make ice cream more sustainable. How so? Keep reading.
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There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal last week that caught my attention. While, admittedly, I am not an overly obsessive “sustainability” guy, what Unilever is doing to its ice cream brands in order for them to withstand “less cold temperatures” is pretty interesting and innovative, and would have positive downstream energy-usage impacts to stores that sell its product.
Some details from the WSJ article:
Unilever owns most of the 3 million chest-like freezers that house its ice-cream tubs and treats in bodegas and corner stores, and the energy used to power them accounts for around 10% of Unilever’s greenhouse gas footprint, according to the London-based firm. Keeping ice cream at 10 degrees as opposed to zero will reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 20% to 30% per freezer, it said.
“What was happening was that shopkeepers in some markets responded to fears about rising energy costs by switching off their cabinets earlier than they otherwise would have done,” departing Chief Executive Alan Jope said in discussing the results earlier this month.
Interestingly enough, the effort to make ice cream remain as firm in 10 degrees Fahrenheit as in the industry-standard 0 degrees Fahrenheit has been going on for over a decade. The push towards more “sustainable” ice cream has made strides in recent years as “sugar technologies” have developed more rapidly.
Of course, it is yet to be known exactly what other kind of reformulations will have to happen to the ice-cream itself to make this all a reality, so I guess we have to stay-tuned as reformulations can often involve ingredients (or should I say chemicals) with names that are near impossible to pronounce and are frowned upon. But an A+ to Unilever for 10 years of research + development so far in this effort.
Now… can’t fast food restaurants figure out a way to make “fat-free” french fries? Please? Anyone?
Thanks for reading. Until next time.
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