The ColdSnap® pod is quite a piece of technology, with big benefits for sustainability and convenience. ColdSnap pods store premium liquid ingredients at room temperature for 6+ months. Once the pod is inserted into the ColdSnap machine, inside the pod the liquid mixes as it freezes to create a delicious frozen confection. After about 120 seconds, the frozen treat is dispensed directly from the pod into a cup or bowl; the product never touches the machine. No mess, no cleaning.
Since ColdSnap’s pod-based system dishes out single servings of a variety of products and flavors, there’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a healthy frozen smoothie, a pick–me-up Snappuccino™ frozen latte, or an indulgent premium ice cream. In this blog, we’re shining the spotlight on the ColdSnap pod. Let’s follow the journey of this impressive bit of packaging engineering from the first days of ColdSnap to now.
Building the Perfect Pod for ColdSnap’s On-Demand Ice Cream Maker
The size and design of the ColdSnap pod has changed since its beginning days. The first iteration of the frozen drink pod, circa 2019, was wider, shorter, and made of PVC pipe. Another experimental pod iteration used sour cream cups made of polypropylene. There were a couple of problems with these materials, however: unlike aluminum, plastics are not infinitely recyclable and act like an insulator rather than a conductor. Insulators transfer heat slowly, so the liquid ingredients inside the pod took too long to freeze. Today, ColdSnap’s pods are made with an aluminum beverage can, similar in size to an 8.4 ounce Red Bull can.
In the United States, a staggering 100,000 aluminum cans are recycled each minute, leading to an overall recycling rate of nearly 50 percent, the highest recycling rate for any beverage container. Additionally, due to the infinite recyclability of aluminum, 75 percent of all aluminum produced is still in circulation. Aluminum cans contain an average of 73 percent recycled content, which means a lot of can-to-can recycling is taking place. Making a can from old cans uses 90 percent less energy and generates 90 percent fewer emissions compared to producing that same can from virgin material.
In addition to the material, the shape of the pod also matters. We chose a pod that has a large surface area to volume ratio (tall and slender). All that surface area helps to quickly freeze the ice cream in the pod. We also chose a standard size beverage can, that can be filled, conveyored, packaged, and sold in standard beverage vending equipment. We didn’t want to reinvent all of that infrastructure.
You can see some of the materials we’ve tested for our ColdSnap pods over time below!
The artwork on the exterior of the pod has also changed. With the latest styles, ColdSnap’s goal was to design pods that conveyed our brand: fun, chill, and delightful. Designing product packaging is far from a simple task, and ColdSnap’s revolutionary system and variety of products makes pod design even more challenging. With several product categories, and different flavors within each category, ColdSnap pods need to clearly show consumers what they’re getting. Of course, we wanted to have a little fun with our can designs, too. Read on to see what we came up with!
A Sneak Peek into the New Pod Design
ColdSnap offers several product categories. The main objective of the new pod design was to differentiate the categories as clearly as possible. There are eight different product categories – ice cream, non-dairy frozen desserts, frozen lattes (Snappuccinos), boozy ice cream, cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, and protein shakes. While we are proud to have a variety of products, we realize that this could lead to confusion. The ColdSnap team decided to differentiate our frozen drink pods based on the product’s category and flavor to make it simple for consumers.
The eight product categories each have a different design. The ColdSnap team is inspired by the outdoors, so each product category features a different element from nature. As seen below, the ice cream and non-dairy frozen dessert have mountains, boozy ice creams show a starry sky, protein shakes have a lightning bolt, the Snappuccinos have rays, and the smoothies have vibrant colors that remind us of fresh fruit.
To clearly differentiate flavors, the text for each flavor was assigned a different color. For example, the Vanilla font is blue. The Vanilla Ice Cream, Vanilla Snappuccino, and Vanilla Protein Shake are labeled in blue font. Here’s how our Vanilla Ice Cream pods have changed over time!
Working with different colors, fonts, and designs, the team was able to clearly differentiate between product categories and flavors. We think these new and improved pods are pretty chill, and we’re excited to be debuting them as part of our commercial launch later this year. We hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek!
By Molly Ryan & Lyn Ferreira
Photos by Allyson Preble
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