YOLO COUNTY NEWS
Billy Synk, manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis and a staff research associate/beekeeper, holds an iPhone and a carton of Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream. Every Haagen-Dazs Concerto Timer app download will result in $5 for bee research at UC Davis. Kathy Keatley Garvey/Courtesy photo

Business

A sweet way to help bee research at UC Davis

By From page A6 | August 25, 2013

Ice cream lovers can enjoy classical music and support honeybee research at UC Davis at the same time.

Häagen-Dazs invites customers to download a free concerto timer app to their iPhone or iPad, point it at the lid of the brand’s ice cream, and listen to a two-minute concerto until the ice cream is softened or tempered. Two minutes is perfect for allowing the ice cream to soften after removing it from the freezer, the ice cream specialists say.

For every download of the concerto timer, Häagen-Dazs will donate $5 toward UCD bee research, up to $75,000.

About half of Häagen-Dazs’ flavors are dependent on honeybees for pollination.

“Honeybee colonies — which are responsible for one-third of the world’s food supply — are dying at an alarming rate, posing a serious risk to our natural food supply, including many of the ingredients that define Häagen-Dazs ice cream,” a news release said.

Häagen-Dazs has a long partnership with UCD. It launched the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee-friendly garden that was planted in 2009 next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on campus.

The brand also funded Häagen-Dazs postdoctoral fellow Michelle Flenniken, an insect virus researcher formerly based at UC San Francisco. She is now a research assistant professor in the department of plant sciences and plant pathology at Montana State University.

In announcing the introduction of the Häagen-Dazs concerto timer app, the company described it as “the first iOS mobile app to integrate detailed 3D Kinect technology and video data that delivers a cutting-edge augmented reality experience.”

According to a news release, “The concerto timer app features two-minute-long music concertos that help consumers understand the exact amount of time needed to prepare their Häagen-Dazs ice cream in order to get the full, rich consistency and allow all the flavors to fully bloom.

“Allowing the ice cream to soften slightly — also called tempering — for two minutes enhances the texture and exposes fans to the craftsmanship of premium ingredients that is characteristic of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt.”

Said Cady Behles, Häagen-Dazs brand manager: “The app concept came directly from our brand loyalists who recognized the necessity of tempering to enjoy all of the flavors in our ice cream. We took their feedback and developed an advanced mobile experience — something never seen before in the ice cream industry — that would be functional and also entertain them during the optimal time period.”

Added the news release, “The app captures the nuances of the real violin and cello performances, enhanced with expressive particles, resulting in an ethereal and unique creative style. This approach allows the musicians to move with a fluid natural motion in 3D space.”

The Häagen-Dazs concerto timer app is available for free download at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/haagen-dazs-concerto-timer/id670015815?mt=8.

Kathy Keatley Garvey

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