Perhaps you’ve noticed – frozen beverages have been getting harder to blend in recent years. The trend has been gradual but is gaining momentum. Blenders may need more time to process certain recipes. Even with extra blending time, the consistency of the blend may not be ideal.

Unfortunately, more blending and prep time is not what restaurants can afford now. Also, no one wants to let down customers with a beverage that is not consistently blended.

In response to this situation, Vitamix ® Commercial developed the Quick & Quiet ™, a powerful beverage blender that is 30% faster than The Quiet One®, our best-in-class beverage blender. This improvement in blending speed applies to all types of beverages, including hard-to-blend recipes. The Quick & Quiet also produces better consistency, ensuring the beverage is the same throughout.

There’s more on the Quick & Quiet later in this article. But first, let’s explore what’s causing the Hard-to-Blend Trend.

Thicker Is Better

Part of what leads to hard-to-blend recipes is the desire to wow the customer with a thicker, richer experience. For example:

  • Extra-thick milk shakes, often made with hard ice cream
  • Frozen beverages thick enough to mound over the brim of the cup
  • Smoothie bowls and ice cream treats so thick you have to eat them with a spoon

While extra thick recipes have been around for a long time, the percentage of recipes in this category appears to be growing. Even many smoothies are leaning into milkshake territory with the addition of hard ice cream, alongside the traditional frozen fruit. Hard ice cream puts an especially heavy load on a blender motor.

Healthy and Customized

Many restaurants are also responding to a consumer desire for healthier beverages, with less sugar or with more functional benefits.

Sugar increases the flow of ingredients during blending, so when you replace juice with coconut water or another low-sugar liquid, the blending gets more difficult.

Dates are sometimes introduced as a healthier alternative to refined sugar, but dried fruit is difficult to blend, especially if you want to fully process it, leaving no visible traces.

Powdered additives are a quick, easy way to endow beverages with functional purpose. They also satisfy the need among many consumers to customize their beverages with a chosen set of benefits (e.g., an energy boost, Vitamin C, healthy greens, etc.). The only downside is that powders soak up liquid and require more torque from the blender motor.

More Efficient and Cost Effective

As restaurants attempt to reduce costs or improve efficiency, they may introduce changes to a recipe that inadvertently make it harder to blend.

Here are some examples:

  • Moving from ambient-temperature or fresh ingredients to powders, mixes or concentrates
  • Using more ice, and less liquid
  • Using less than 50% liquid ingredients
  • Changing the holding temperature of some ingredients, including the ice
  • Increasing the cut size of frozen fruit
  • Switching to a liquid with less sugar (explained above)

There are good reasons to explore these directions; for example, to speed up prep time, reduce recipe complexity, increase speed of service, move to shelf-stable ingredients, or to increase holding time for beverages being delivered.

With some of these changes, however, you may find that the blender can no longer blend the recipe in a reasonable period of time, or it cannot fully process the recipe, so it is no longer as smooth as you would like.

Solutions to the Hard-to-Blend Trend

In 2021, we began developing the Quick & Quiet because we found that our customers needed faster, more capable blending, especially for hard-to-blend recipes.

What innovations enable the Quick & Quiet to exceed the performance of our own best-in-class beverage blender, The Quiet One?

  • A more efficient motor with extra power and cooling capacity
  • A blade assembly consisting of two sets of blades, doubling the cutting-edge capacity
  • The Accelerate™ Container, uniquely shaped to support aggressive blending

This new design provides a lot of extra blending capacity for menu innovation teams. It ensures consistency in hard-to-blend recipes and does so while increasing speed.

To give you an idea of the time you could save, let’s compare the factory-set programs for an extra- thick, medium-sized smoothie on the Quick & Quiet and The Quiet One.

  • The Quick & Quiet Program #6 – 21 seconds
  • The Quiet One Program #17 – 30 seconds

The improvement is dramatic: a 30% reduction in time or a savings of 9 seconds. Keep in mind the factory-set programs are just a guidepost. Each restaurant will have different blending needs.

So, as the Hard-to-Blend Trend continues, the Quick & Quiet is one solution that provides your restaurant with wide latitude to innovate while, at the same time, speeding up your prep time for all blended beverages.