On this planet of ice cream freezer cupboards, the trade commonplace temperature in lots of markets is -18˚C. Unilever owns shut to 3 million ice cream cupboards, which it leases out to sellers worldwide.
However at -18˚C, these cupboards are expensive and energy-intensive to run. The FMCG informed FoodNavigator final yr that ice cream contributes to twenty% of Unilever’s greenhouse fuel (GHG) emissions, with roughly half of that coming from its ice cream cupboards.
Having dedicated to web zero throughout its personal worth chain by 2039, Unilever needs to cut back these emissions by elevating the temperature of its freezers from -18˚C to -12˚C. The Magnum, Wall’s and Ben & Jerry’s proprietor is reformulating its merchandise to resist hotter temperatures, and needs others within the trade to do the identical.
Rebalancing substances to extend ice content material
To encourage reformulation efforts, Unilever is granting a free non-exclusive license to the ice cream trade for 12 reformulation patents.
If ice cream merchandise aren’t already steady at 12˚C, FoodNavigator understands that substances will be rebalanced within the formulation to extend the ice content material – a key driver for firmness of an ice cream on the serving temperature. However in altering substances ratios, the style and flavour of the ice cream should stay unchanged.
Additionally it is important that when reformulating, the ice cream melts in an identical means when it comes to how rapidly it melts and the way the ice cream coats the mouth. Unilever assured us there are ‘a variety’ of assessments that may be performed to make sure the identical high quality and consuming expertise is delivered.
If different producers additionally reformulate their ice cream merchandise to resist hotter temperatures, Unilever will be capable of transfer in the direction of extra power environment friendly freezer cupboards across the globe. “By granting a free non-exclusive license to those 12 reformulation patents, we hope our friends and companions from throughout the ice cream sector will profit and work to sort out emissions throughout the trade,” mentioned Andy Sztehlo, chief R&D officer Ice Cream at Unilever.
The journey in the direction of extra energy-efficient feezers
The granting of Unilever’s non-exclusive license follows the completion of two pilots in Germany, whereby -12˚C cupboards have been discovered to make use of 25% much less power every. The freezers have been each cheaper to run and higher for the atmosphere.
One other advantage of elevating the temperatures of Unilever’s freezer cupboards could lie of their lifespan: as soon as within the chilly chain, the corporate’s freezers are likely to final over 10 years, however hotter fridges could find yourself lasting longer.
Unilever has been engaged on making its freezers extra power environment friendly for a very long time. Again in 2008, the corporate initiative a shift from utilizing non-GHG pleasant fridges to hydrocarbons. And since that point, Unilever has been working to make these cupboards much less energy-intensive: they now use greater than 40% much less power in comparison with 2008 ranges, FoodNavigator was informed final yr. Unilever began reformulating its ice cream merchandise to resist hotter temperatures round 5 years in the past.
Higher for the planet, higher for the pocket
If different producers promoting from Unilever ice cream cupboards additionally reformulate, value and environmental financial savings will improve. Each shoppers are retailers are involved about power utilization, we have been beforehand informed.
Collaboration will probably be key to attaining Unilever’s ‘final objective’: to see an even bigger shift throughout the ice cream trade. “We have to work collectively each with our friends, retailers and governments on this ambition,” a Unilever spokesperson informed FoodNavigator.
“This is the reason we’re sharing the reformulation patents, to allow others with expertise in ice cream formulation to adapt their very own formulations to be resilient at hotter temperatures. By way of collaboration, we consider we are able to scale back the ice cream chilly chain’s impression on the atmosphere, while persevering with to ship top quality merchandise for our shoppers.
“That is simply the beginning of a long-term programme.”