Walter Robb invests in HeatGenie self-heating beverage tech firm as it gears up for 2018 launch

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Walter Robb invests in HeatGenie self-heating beverage tech firm as it gears up for 2018 launch
Former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb has invested in self-heating beverage packaging firm HeatGenie and joined its board of directors as it gears up for a 2018 launch with some high-profile beverage brands.

While self-heating technology has been around for a while, it has not taken the market by storm, in part because existing approaches – which rely on ‘quicklime’ technology – are bulky and time-consuming, claimed HeatGenie​ president and CEO Mark Turner.

He told FoodNavigator-USA: “I think the enthusiasm has always been there for self-heating cans, but no one wants to buy a 12oz can and then have three sips and it’s gone because the heating mechanism takes up half the can.

“With Heatgenie, which uses patented solid state technology – aluminum and silica - it takes up about a tenth of the can, and it heats up in less than two minutes, so it’s light ​[1.5oz], fast, convenient and scalable. The cans are also recyclable.”

He added: “We’ve had interest from manufacturers that are making anything that you consume warm, from soup, bone broth and sake to coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We’re licensing the technology to consumer brands that will integrate the tech into their packaging – it’s the intel inside approach. We’ll be making some announcements with names you’ll recognize in 2018.”

heat genie sizing

Walter Robb – who is based in Austin Texas along with Heat Genie – has always been fascinated by how technology will influence the food and beverage industry and with experience in both retail and consumer packaged goods, he makes a great addition to the team, said Turner: “He thought HeatGenie was really cool and we ‘re super happy to have him on board.”

HeatGenie has also welcomed new advisory board members including Danny Stepper, co-founder and CEO of L.A. Libations; Brian Goldberg, chief strategy officer and EVP of corporate development at Amplify Snack Brands; Jason J. Buechel, EVP and CIO at Whole Foods Market; and James Tonkin, founding board member and investor at Zico, and founder and president of HealthyBrandBuilders.

walter robb

"I am pleased to join the team and help the company grow. Brendan Coffey has created an innovative new technology and Mark Turner is a terrific, energetic CEO and entrepreneur. 

"HeatGenie's technology will be a win-win for both the beverage category and consumers everywhere who will be able to enjoy a hot can of coffee, tea, soup or sake whenever and wherever they please."

Walter Robb

Related topics: Processing & Packaging, Smart Packaging

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