Bakers Journal

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Solo Gelato and Barry Callebaut develop gelato capsule system


December 12, 2017
By Bakers Journal
Chef, Boaz Kwintner, and food technologist, Dr. Eynav Kliger, making ice cream with Solo Gelato.

Zurich, Switzerland, and Israel – Barry Callebaut is partnering with startup Solo Gelato to distribute its Nespresso-style capsule system for instant fresh gelato.

Solo Gelato, which is based in Israel and led by former entrepreneur and gelato expert Barak Beth-Halachmi, developed the gelato capsule system with the help of Barry Callebaut and business startup accelerator MassChallenge, Barry Callebaut said in a news release.

Barry Callebaut’s partnership with Solo Gelato began through mutual involvement with MassChallenge, an international startup accelerator that offers up to $2 million US in equity-free funding for new companies each year.

While studying gastronomy in Parma, Italy, Beth-Halachmi first came up with his idea for the system. His company grew to a team of five and took an advanced version of its prototype to MassChallenge.

Barry Callebaut joined MassChallenge as a founding member of its Swiss branch in 2016, alongside other major food industry companies such as Nestlé and Givaudan.

“MassChallenge not only gives us access to new product ideas and innovative solutions we might never be able to create in-house… we get to know a talented pool of bright young people with an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Massimo Selmo, head of global sourcing for Barry Callebaut, who initiated the company’s involvement.

In addition to funds, the organization provides free office space, mentoring from industry experts and access to corporate partners. The aim is to help high-potential young businesses define their future and maximise their impact.

The chocolate company’ resources and expertise has allowed Solo Gelato to develop its product and business model.

The partnership has mutual benefits, the release said. Solo Gelato’s product does not directly compete with any of Barry Callebaut’s offerings and opens up avenues of business that might not otherwise have been considered.

Since the partnership began last year, Solo Gelato team members have attended the Chocolate Academy in Wieze, Belgium, where they learned about the art of chocolate making and working with Barry Callebaut products. Next, they plan to attend the academy in Milan for more gelato-focused training and product development.

Fabrizio Di Marzio, Barry Callebaut’s gelato business development manager, and Freek van der Knaap, vice-president of the gourmet Western Europe business unit, also have visited the startup’s headquarters in Israel to test whether the recently launched Callebaut Chocogelato mixes could work in the Solo Gelato capsules. The testing was successful and produced wonderfully fresh, great tasting chocolate gelato, Barry Callebaut said in the release.

Barry Callebaut will showcase the Solo Gelato machine at Sigep, the upcoming artisan gelato trade show set for January in Rimini, Italy.

The first half of the year will be spent planning the details of Solo Gelato’s product launch. The second half of 2018 will be concerned with executing the market launch plan and introducing the product to the world.