30 Innovative Brands of the Year 2023
The Silicon Review
ColdSnap is the revolutionary system transforming the way frozen treats are produced and enjoyed. Its no-prep, no-clean up system eliminates hassle and delivers great-tasting, premium frozen treats, faster.
The Silicon Review recognizes ColdSnap as one of the ‘30 Innovative Brands of the Year 2023’ for bringing innovative solutions and implementing creative business initiatives to increase employment opportunities.
The publication reached out to Matthew Fonte, founder & CEO of ColdSnap, and here’s what he had to say.
Q. What was the motivation behind starting ColdSnap®?
When nightly bedtime stories grew dull for my two daughters and me, we decided to try bedtime invention journals. Topping the list of problems to solve: how do we create a better ice cream machine for at-home use — one that could make single-serving treats on demand without all the hassle? I saw promise in their idea and launched ColdSnap® as a result in 2018.
Q. Can you explain your services in brief?
More than just a premium ice cream maker, ColdSnap is a rapid-freezing technology that produces single-servings of frozen confections from shelf-stable, ambient-temperature ColdSnap pods in approximately two minutes. The patented ColdSnap appliance freezes the contents of the pod directly in the pod and once adequately frozen, dispenses the ice cream into a cup. Since the food product doesn’t touch the machine during the freezing, mixing, and dispensing processes, the machine requires no cleaning.
With an array of products to choose from, including frozen coffees (Snappuccinos™), sorbets, frozen smoothies, frozen protein shakes, frozen cocktails, and boozy as well as traditional and non-dairy ice creams; ColdSnap offers a superior, personalized user experience for consumers. Great-tasting, premium ice cream and other frozen treats can be prepared on demand, in single servings, free of messy preparation and cleanup.
On-demand freezing from a shelf-stable format has long been an elusive goal in the frozen confections industry, but ColdSnap is making it happen, with big benefits in convenience, sustainability, and taste. Since the pods of premium liquid ice cream mix are stored and shipped to consumers at ambient temperature, ColdSnap circumvents the expensive, unreliable, and environmentally unfriendly "cold chain." Keeping the pods at ambient temperature additionally provides a convenient and cost-effective storage solution for consumers and operators. Not the least of the benefits, on-demand rapid freezing results in an uncommonly decadent and creamy product that people often describe as “the way ice cream should be eaten!”
The mission of ColdSnap is to transform the way ice cream and frozen confections are produced, transported, purchased, and enjoyed around the world!
Q. What are the challenges you had to face while developing ColdSnap? How did you overcome them?
Creating products that are delicious, health conscious, clean label, and are also shelf stable for at least six months is a major challenge. To achieve shelf stability, the product must be briefly heated during the sterilization process, but this step can affect the taste and functionality of some ingredients. In the development of our protein shakes, for example, certain types of protein had an undesirable flavor and texture after being heated. Our protein shakes went through about 70 iterations before being finalized!
Freezing ice cream without any of the food touching the machine has also been a challenge. The liquid ice cream mix needs to be churned during the freezing process and aerated to create the appropriate overrun, and then dispensed into a bowl without the food touching the machine. Each pod has a mixing paddle inside to whip the ice cream and dispense the treat when frozen to accurate temperature.
Our rapid freezing appliance is designed to be simple for the consumer to use, but the behind-the-scenes work to get it to this point is quite complex. Intradepartmental communication is critical – the food science team and engineers work together to make sure every product we make is top quality and the appliance/pod system works flawlessly. Our team is made up of creative problem solvers!
Q. There are other entities in this segment. How do you diversify yourself?
ColdSnap offers a personalized experience with a choice of various frozen single serving products. There aren’t any machines on the market that we know of that can produce the variety of single-serving products that ColdSnap does. The patented ColdSnap system doesn’t require cleaning, game changer. Additionally, ColdSnap pods are uniquely shelf stable, no refrigeration of the pods.
Q. What are the factors that affect the pricing of your product?
The ColdSnap machine and pods are highly engineered to work synergistically, and the products are formulated by certified nutritionists and food scientists with clean-label ingredients and consumer dietary preferences and restrictions in mind. The technological components, such as internal mixing paddles in each pod and premium ingredients, impact our pricing. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality product and the best user experience possible, so our price reflects that. However, ColdSnap is priced to be competitive with ice cream purchased at a scoop shop or a frozen latte from a café.
Q. Do you conduct research for a better user experience?
Since May 2020, ColdSnap has been placing “beta” machines in commercial sites around the United States. These sites include Major League Baseball stadium suites, technology company kitchenettes, manufacturing company break rooms, hotel lobbies, car dealerships, and university cafeterias. We collect consumption data on which of the various products are selling the most, in which setting, and at what time of day. Additionally, we collect machine performance data through wireless and/or cellular data.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
ColdSnap plans to launch in Q3 2023 and will be rolling out ice cream, frozen coffees, and frozen smoothies. Shortly thereafter, ColdSnap will launch their delicious lines of frozen protein shakes, boozy ice creams and frozen cocktails!
Matthew Fonte | Founder & CEO
Matthew grew up working alongside his father from whom he learned to be an entrepreneur. His father taught him to differentiate in business and to create disruptive technologies to bring to market. He learned to balance risk with opportunity. At work, Matthew enjoys delving into technical challenges and contributing to finding solutions. He also enjoys the commercial side of the business, developing new markets by bringing value to customers with innovative and unique offerings.
When asked, what are a few characteristics needed to be a successful leader? His reply:
First, need to be optimistic, and need to have enough courage and conviction in your business to take the required calculated risks to propel it forward, even when the road forward isn’t always clear. Second, surround yourself with committed and competent teammates that compliment your own skill set. Third, create the top goals and priorities of the organization. Fourth, create a culture of respect and dignity for all our workers, ensure that everyone feels safe, vested, and empowered to move quickly to drive the business. Finally, have fun.
In previous roles, Matthew alongside his brother, has helped to develop, grow, and successfully sell his father’s manufacturing business, which manufactured precision hardware for the U.S. military. Then he founded, grew, and successfully sold a company with the help of his friends that made orthopedic implants made of shape memory, nickel-titanium alloy, Nitinol. Matthew holds ~100 issued U.S and international patents with innovations stemming from all his companies. He has a finance degree from Boston College and a master's and a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University.
Matthew is proud to show his daughters that a company can be built around an idea that originated in their invention journals. He enjoys talking with his children and wife about the various aspects of the business as they enter new phases and encounter new challenges. To Matthew, this is rewarding and fun.