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How successful innovations start with collaboration

December 18, 2023


3 minute read

Partnering with dairy experts from the Food Science and Nutrition department at the University of Minnesota (UMN) played a crucial role in helping a startup company based in Minnesota, led by Kevin Korbel and Jamieson Lindquist, transform their ice cream idea into a successful reality.

Kevin Korbel, a third-generation dairy farmer and entrepreneur, and his business partner Jamieson approached Sonia Patel and Joellen Feirtag, experts from the Food Science and Nutrition department at UMN, with their concept of creating premium ice cream for the local market.

And here’s how the collaboration with the MDFRC-UMN team assisted in turning their vision into reality in just nine short months:

  • Expertise and Knowledge: Provided scientific/technical support to launch their product in the market. Provided help to develop their business strategy and translate business strategy into manageable projects for execution.
  • Product development support: UMN team assisted in optimizing recipes, sourcing ingredients, and ensuring that the final product met the desired taste, nutritional, and regulatory standards.
  • Regulatory Support: Provide knowledge about the federal and state regulations that apply- such as Food facility Licenses, dairy products standards and standards of identity, facility, equipment, manufacturing and processing needs, packaging, and cleaning requirements.
  • Sourcing Ingredients for formulation: Guidance in careful selection of formulation recipe and selection of ingredients and connect them with ingredient suppliers.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that the ice cream product complies with all relevant food safety and labeling regulations, allowing the startup to sell its product legally in the local market. Helped the startup establish quality control measures to ensure that their ice cream met all safety and quality standards.
  • Networking and Resources: Provided the startup with access to additional resources, such as industry connections, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, AURI, Midwest dairy associations, web marketing professionals, and funding opportunities/agencies to accelerate their business. Also, work with them on identifying cost savings and revenue opportunities.

Kevin says…

Since I was able to reach the foot pedals on our International Harvester 786 tractor, myself, along with my entire family, have worked hard to make our dairy farm what it is today. With the future today very unclear with our dairy farm, our goal is to give more options and opportunity to the next generation in our operation”.

Further, he adds, “Today, as me and Jamieson continue down our path to being entrepreneurs and hoping to make a mark with our ice cream brand, we are confident with your support that we will be able to make that happen. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything to get us to this point in our business. Don’t forget that for every pint, every mix-in, and every label put on a cup is going towards helping the future generation of helping dairy farming.

Not only this, but over the past month, they have sold out their first batch of our ice cream and hit some big milestones, such as scooping ice cream at three different events in Minnesota (Dozinky Days, Defeat of Jesse James Days, and Cultivate Mankato 4th Anniversary event) and have received two grants from Undeniably Dairy to host a Harvest Party and to participate in a Summit near Chicago.

In short, the collaboration with UMN experts from the Food Science and Nutrition department at UMN was instrumental in turning Kevin Korbel and Jamieson’s ice cream concept into a successful reality.

UMN’s expertise, guidance, and support helped the startup navigate the challenges of the food industry and bring its ice cream to the local market in a relatively short timeframe.

MDFRC application lab and UMN pilot plant facility are available to the industry to provide ingredient screening, formula optimization, process, and product development support. Additionally, it can provide a vital resource for food companies that are just starting up or are evaluating new processes and product lines. The Pilot plant facility is inspected by the State of Minnesota and is certified as a food production facility.