Unilever, maker of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, is pondering how to make an ice cream that is made, shipped and sold warm, with the consumer taking the final step of actually freezing the product.
The goal would be to reduce energy and emissions spent on keeping ice cream cold throughout the supply chain, reports TimesOnline.
The company, which sells $7.2 billion in ice cream worldwide under various brands, has its scientists, along with researchers from Cambridge University, hard at work on a solution. So far, the optimal formula is not in sight, however.
Unilever says the main issue is ensuring that ambient ice cream frozen at home will have “the right microstructure to produce a fantastic consumer experience.”
The company already has taken steps to improve energy efficiency at ice cream processing plants in the UK, Germany, Italy and France.
In addition, it is upgrading 2 million refrigerated and frozen cases that it supplies to retailers who sell Unilever products. For instance, about 400,000 of the units are now powered by propane, consuming 15 percent less energy.