The immediate future of the "ice cream of the future" is in doubt.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dippin' Dots, the pelletized ice cream company, has filed for Chapter 11. This summer, I profiled Curt Jones, the founder and chief executive of Dippin' Dots, who founded the company after working with bacteria and liquid nitrogen. At the time of my writing, there were already trouble signs, such as the company's decision to rein in its fledgling storefront business. But Jones also expressed excitement for new beaded products that would move the company beyond ice cream into coffee and even alcoholic beverages.
Here's the heart of my profile, including the patent to super-freeze ice cream into small beads:
TOO DARN COLD?
Dippin' Dots' chief asset -- its funny-looking pelletized technology -- is also its chief liability. Simply put: It's too darn cold.* Home freezers tend to be about zero degrees Fahrenheit. Supermarket freezers are often colder, around negative-10 degrees. That's good enough for regular ice cream. But Dippin' Dots must be stored at 40 degrees below zero without losing their eponymous dotness. So the product cannot sell in most supermarkets or live in most freezers.