One of the newest food crazes is chewable ice. Also known in the industry as nugget ice, this trend has plenty of people talking . . . and chewing! And that's great for foodservice businesses that can use chewable ice to make customers happy and help increase profits.
What Is Chewable Ice?
Chewable ice is ice with a softer texture, making it easier and more desirable to chew. Rather than leaving water to freeze in a mold like regular ice, chewable ice is made in a special machine that adds air to it. This makes it softer, as well as more absorbent. Because chewy ice takes on the liquid it’s placed in, it also becomes very tasty to bite into after it's been chilling in a delicious beverage.
Chewable ice is sought out for many different reasons. Nugget ice has a large surface volume, so it helps a restaurant's bottom line not to put as much of a beverage into a cup. The air in chewable ice also helps it melt slower, so it keeps drinks colder, longer and doesn't ruin the taste by watering them down.
Outside of use in beverages, nugget ice is also ideal for treating sports injuries, as it can easily mold around parts of the body in need of icing. Chewable nugget ice gets used frequently in hospitals as well for patients who can't have a lot of liquids, such as women in labor, or those who can't swallow liquids.
Just How Profitable is Ice?
A fun fact many consumers are just learning is that a lot of foodservice businesses sell nugget ice by the bag. McDonald's, Sonic, Chick-fil-A, and Burger King all sell bags of pellet ice. It costs approximately between 25 and 35 cents to produce a bag of ice. Leaving a wide profit margin for businesses that sell them from $1.50 to $3 per bag. The maintenance of an ice machine can be done easily by one person, so no additional staff is needed. There is also no inventory to restock or keep track of. It can be a smart investment for a business.
It's necessary to note however that ice is a regulated food product. Businesses thinking about bagging and selling ice need to consider their ability to comply with FDA requirements.
The RDT Chill Team Can Help Streamline Your Foodservice Project
RDT's team of professionals can help with every step of your cold solutions foodservice process. Our team of cross-trained project managers is a group of experts designed to help operators, consultants, and dealers with questions on refrigeration systems.
Members complete six months of training on resources such as Design, AutoCAD, and Estimating. The team is also staffed with Revit specialists, as well. The bottom line is RDT is committed to keeping Chill Team as up-to-date as possible on major changes in refrigeration, foodservice design, and the overall project management process.
The goal is to be as efficient as possible, and by spreading out the workload amongst the specialists of the Chill Team, that's exactly what we can help you achieve.