It’s official: Consumers are crazy for nugget ice, the soft, chewable ice especially favored in the South and associated with restaurant chains and convenience stores. This theory is based on the recent activity of GE’s FirstBuild’s Opal nugget ice maker campaign on Indiegogo.
The project, which went live on the crowdfunding platform July 28th, has surpassed its funding goal of $150,000 and crossed the $1.3 million threshold this weekend.
Opal is an affordable countertop nugget ice maker designed by the FirstBuild community and priced well below other currently available nugget ice makers. Early bird pricing began around $399 or less, with future retail pricing expected at $499. The ice maker will be shipped to Indiegogo backers in mid-2016.
The Opal currently ranks ninth in Indiegogo’s top 10 list of campaigns that have raised the most funds in 24 hours, and the 13th fastest to reach the half million dollar mark. Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, director of FirstBuild, declared:
“The benefits of launching a new product like Opal using the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform allows us immediate feedback on market acceptance, Our product has certainly been of interest to consumers and one of the most successful launches in Indiegogo history.”
The Opal nugget ice maker works by packing together small ice crystals, creating nuggets of soft yet crunchy ice. Nugget ice chills beverages faster than conventional ice cubes. The air pockets in each nugget also absorb the flavor of the drink while cooling, leaving a chewable and tasty refreshment for those who enjoy snacking on ice after they have finished their drink.
Opal is a compact countertop design that plugs into any electrical outlet and holds 3 pounds of ice, about as much as a typical refrigerator. Opal produces its first nuggets in just 15 minutes, and can produce 1 pound of ice per hour. The elegant stainless steel unit includes a crystal-clear, removable ice bin that slides out and tilts forward for easy access to the ice.
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