Blix is an intelligent blending platform with pre-portioned pouches that can blend a fresh smoothie, soup, or spread in a matter of seconds with no planning, prep, or cleaning.
I spoke to Blix’s President, Ariel Sterngold, to discuss the technology and concept behind this next generation of food blending machines.
We started Blix about six years ago. My parents are entrepreneurs – my father started the international business for SodaStream, the soda maker, back in 1992. He then launched a business called Bevyz, which is a multi-drinks system that can make any beverage, hot, cold, or sparkling, using capsules. That business was sold at the end of 2014 to Keurig US.
We were thinking about how we could disrupt the blender industry, which is tried and tested but hasn't seen any real innovation. Interestingly, over 25 million blenders are sold in the US alone every year, but the blender machine, which is currently celebrating its 100th year, hasn’t actually evolved over the years.
The first-ever blender and the ones you buy today are pretty much the same. The experience hasn’t changed, and you still have the same pain points that were there from the very beginning, which are prep and cleanup.
These are the two biggest issues for the consumer, and the number one reason they stop using blenders. That's what we aimed to solve. We designed a very simple, straightforward smart device, with only one button. The machine, through software, does all the work for the consumer.
People are increasingly aware of their health, and this is a trend that will continue. So, first of all, we have to give people the healthy food they want with the highest integrity.
Clean ingredients with no additives are important, but people also appreciate convenience. In the last 50 years, the amount of time spent in the kitchen has consistently dropped, so we want to give people the best of both worlds: high-quality food in the most convenient way possible.
We’re not looking to educate consumers to behave differently. Consumers already use blenders, so this isn’t a new concept. What’s new here is real food with true convenience, at the touch of a button.
Our pouches contain either frozen or shelf-stable ingredients. The pouches and the cups that come with them have different liquid fill lines, depending on the product you’re making. All the pouches have clean ingredients, no added sugars, and no preservatives. You could construct any of our pouches by yourself at home. That's how clean our ingredients are.
We offer smoothies, indulgence drinks, overnight breakfast bowls, spreads, and sauces. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be launching our line of milkshakes, and we have some exciting new products in the pipeline as well. We keep coming up with new ideas so we can be innovative in more and more areas.
After filling the cup with water, you close it with our patented lid, which has a built-in blade that’s safe to touch. It's not sharp but it can chop anything and, most importantly, it has an RFID tag that communicates to the machine what consistency and results you want. The machine reads it and after about one to two minutes, the product’s ready. These lids are single-use but they’re made of mono-material so are 100% recyclable, with zero cleaning on your part.
We have quite a lot of B2B customers such as gyms, yoga studios, and commercial kitchens, who each have their own consumers.
In the B2C segment, our sweet spot is young mothers who tell us how they always put their children and partner’s needs before their own. They just want something to make their lives easier and that's one of the inspirations behind our pasta sauces.
We had lots of mothers who said they make pasta because it’s easy, but felt guilty for not putting in the effort to make a proper sauce. They asked us to come up with sauces and we gladly accepted the challenge.
We also see a lot of parents buying Blix for their children when they go off to college, as well as people who buy it for their elderly parents who can't be in the kitchen for too long.
One thing we're starting to do these days is to take advantage of “ugly” fruits and vegetables – produce that was left behind, whose quality is just as good as the nicest looking fruit. If you mix or chop it up, it doesn't make sense not to use it. We believe that would help the entire ecosystem.
We use recyclable materials and work with environmental consultants to constantly optimize our ecological footprint. We keep our finger on the pulse and look out for new materials as they come onto the market.
When we send frozen foods, we use cornstarch as insulation material, which we think is best-in-class packaging. When consumers are done with it, they can just put it in water and it dissolves. We keep on making improvements as we go along because we want to leave the world a better place for our children.
I think COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated change, and in a short period of time, we’ve witnessed changes that would previously have taken five years or more.
Although people are returning to their offices, they’re still spending much more time at home and I think this is something that's going to continue. People are also much more aware of their physical and mental health. This trend is going to stay.
For us, it really is about staying at the forefront and just offering more and more categories of good, clean food. We still have a long journey ahead of us and we're quite excited about that.