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Sisters Solve Manufacturing Challenge—And Create New Markets

Company cofounders want to apply Whipnotic’s patented aerosol devices to other product lines.

Sometimes a product play can become a manufacturing play, and Whipnotic may become a strong exhibit of this phenomenon.

The startup company in New York City is only three years old and hasn’t even entered a Series A round of funding yet, but it has pushed its way into mid-market territory already. And cofounder and president Tracy Luckow is envisioning ways to leverage Whipnotic’s patented product design and manufacturing technique to diversify far from the flavored whipped cream that started the company.

It helps that Luckow is engineer-ish: She’s a former food scientist and product developer who broadened and climbed the career ladder at major CPG manufacturers PepsiCo and Danone before setting out with her sister, Lori Gitomer, a media-company executive, to establish Whipnotic in 2019. Their shared entrepreneurial bent is another reason they’re getting started in manufacturing.

“As young kids we were always creating new businesses without knowing we were child entrepreneurs, that benefited the community,” Luckow told Chief Executive. “We created a newspaper. We sold flower arrangements. She’d do the sales and marketing, and I created stuff.”

Luckow and Gitomer left their jobs to steal a march on redefining a long-sleepy segment in the booming dairy business: canned whipped cream, where ConAgra’s Reddi-Wip brand has dominated but has demonstrated little imagination in expanding the category.

Whipnotic eliminated high-fructose corn syrup, but its aerosol cans full of cream demonstrate little other nutritional departure from what’s in a can of Reddi-Wip. Where Whipnotic has redefined the category is in introducing an extra nutritional and experiential element with a patented device that infuses the topping with flavor and color components. The product comes in four flavors.

“We basically wanted to make whipped cream much more multi-sensorial,” Luckow says. “We thought in terms of sensory cues that were unique flavors, and a stripe of color, and we also wanted aromas to be part of the experience as well.”

But to succeed in that regard, the entrepreneurs had to confront a manufacturing and technology challenge. They developed a plan to combine the cream with fruit essences, or caramel or chocolate syrups, as the can dispensed the two streams separately—but no existing manufacturer could make the new type of cans for them.

“We needed to make sure we could work within a manufacturing facility that was in existence and was set up one way already,” Luckow says.

So they decided to invent and patent “swirl technology,” an extra nozzle atop the aerosol can that dispenses liquid flavors in a showy cloud of color. Whipnotic manufactures and attaches the extra nozzle in ways that Luckow declines to specify.

“Creating something brand new is very challenging and expensive and takes time, but what we came up with works well,” Luckow says. “It’s all from our patented technology. It’s proprietary because there are specific valves inside the [auxiliary dispenser] that have small holes. You have to make sure the viscosity of a substance, such as cocoa, is something you can pass through. Particle sizes could be very tricky.”

But, fortunately, not only does the packaging and manufacturing method they invented work for Whipnotic, it’s also amenable to other products. “The nozzle also works on cold foam and other types of bases for coffee, and we have another patent on that,” Luckow explains, “It also will work with aerosol cans in different capacities: This could work with a shaving cream that would come out of a can [alongside] aloe, for instance, or with sunscreen.”

In any event, Luckow says, “We’re creative people. We’ve got a lot of runway.”


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