Portable single-serve polypropylene packaging for My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream balls conveniently serves food safely and with waste reduction.
Is it a snack or is it a dessert?
The answer is yes to both for an unusual shape in frozen desserts from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, a Las-Angeles-based brand of ice cream balls that’s claimed as America's fastest growing frozen novelty.A mochi ball is a scoop of premium ice cream wrapped in sweet, pillowy rice mochi dough for a fun and portable hand-held snacking experience.
Now the brand is serving up its unique dessert snacks in an innovative new format, single-serve packaging, to ensure optimal quality and freshness along with food safety. The new packs will be available in the self-serve My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Bar at retailers throughout the country.
"Today's consumer is exceptionally aware of the issues surrounding food safety and food waste" says Russell Barnett, CMO of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. "Not only will the new individual packs give My/Mo a longer shelf life and reduce waste, but it will improve hygienic standards by eliminating the open exposure of the mochi to consumers. This is an important consideration during a time when food safety is top of mind for many Americans."
Barnett addresses Packaging Digest’s questions in this exclusive interview.
Tell us about the original packaging.
Barnett: Aside from the new single-serve packaging, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream offers all of its flavors in a six-pack container. The six-pack is the original My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream packaging and has been available since the product first hit stores in 2017.
Please describe the new product and packaging.
Barnett: The new single-serve packaging is made of a recyclable plastic, polyethylene, same as the original six-count package.
The dimensions of one single-serve [thermoformed] container is 1.62-inch high x 2.65-inch-wide x 2.65-inch deep. It’s sized to fit one 100-calorie My/Mo Mochi ball, which weighs 1.5oz. That’s the weight of a single My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream ball that is in our six pack — we did not change the size of our mochi balls.
What were the design goals?
Barnett: The single-serve packaging was designed to ensure ultimate product safety, quality and freshness. The visual aspect was created to reflect the design of My/Mo’s classic six-packs, as well as showcase the product’s look and texture and the fun, playful identity of the brand. We worked on developing the new packaging design for over a year to ensure we were providing consumers with the best and safest option for optimal consumption.
What’s an unmet consumer need that the new format addresses?
Barnett: Today’s consumer is exceptionally aware of the issues surrounding food safety and food waste. Not only will the new individual packs give My/Mo a longer shelf life and reduce waste, but it will improve hygienic standards by eliminating the open exposure in the Mochi Bars. This is an important consideration during a time when food safety is top of mind for many Americans. In addition to reducing food waste and spoilage that can occur with loose, unpackaged mochi ice cream, the individual packs give consumers more freedom and confidence to grab-and-go with the 100-calorie, pillowy My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream balls.
Anything further to say about the food safety aspect?
Barnett: Food safety and employee safety has always been our top priority. Before COVID-19, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream had recognized the need to ensure food safety by starting development of our new single-serve packaging in mid-2019. In addition, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream has the highest rating from The British Retail Consortium (BRC), which is one of the few certification programs that assures packaging suppliers are compliant to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
What’s the balance between waste reduction versus more per-unit packaging?
Barnett: There’s no increase in per-unit packaging as our current trays carry six balls. The new package essentially breaks these into individual servings. My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is proud to offer this additional level of protection with the new individual packs, all without contributing any additional packaging waste that could have an impact on the environment. Because we’re managing food waste, the single-serve packaging required an estimated 20% less packaging.
What’s the shelf life and pricing?
Barnett: Each pack has a one-year shelf life and is printed with a “Best By” date to ensure freshness and maintain the integrity of the mochi ice creams’ taste and texture. That’s the same as our six pack.
The SRP of My/Mo Mochi’s single-serve is $1.50 to $2 per mochi ball, depending on retailer.
What’s next for the brand?
Barnett: The brand recently expanded its flavor portfolio with the release of three new flavors in March: Banana Chocolate Cream, Orange Vanilla, and Non-Dairy & Vegan Neapolitan. The new flavors were inspired by summer favorites, like ice cream sundaes and orange creamsicles. My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream continues to disrupt the snack industry by focusing on reinventing classic universal favorites into new, innovative concepts, and we are constantly looking to expand and continue our mission of bringing mochi to the masses. We have lots of exciting things planned for the rest of the year — stay tuned!
The company website is mymomochi.com