Butter consumption rates in the United States have risen 25 percent in the past decade to a 40-year high in 2014, but the technology used in the way we serve butter hasn’t changed much.
Austin-based entrepreneur Doug Foreman says he has an idea that can change that.
Over the past two years, Foreman — a founder of the Beanitos snack chip company — has developed a device called the biem, a hand-held, battery-operated butter sprayer. He is marketing the device through his privately held Austin company, Brevda Inc. As of Friday, Foreman’s Kickstarter page for the biem had more than $198,000 pledge to fund production of the product.
“The biem is a handheld device that takes a stick of better and turns it into a spray in about 10 seconds using only heat and air,” Foreman said.
Foreman got the idea from the mundane task of buttering pans. He thought there should be a way to speed up the process without using aerosol nonstick sprays.
“I’ve been in the food business all my life, so I always think about different ways to do things,” Foreman said.
Many of the aerosol nonstick sprays on the market today use chemical propellants like butane or propane, both of which are flammable, Foreman said. The sprays also contains chemicals that make their way into the food users prepare, he said.
“People today want to know where their food comes from, and they want to know as much about it as they can and have choices,” Foreman said.
With the biem, consumers can pick and choose which type of butter they use, Foreman said.
Foreman also said that by spraying butter onto food instead of spreading it with a knife, calories can be cut down by an estimated 50 percent without compromising taste.
Initially, Foreman thought the biems’ foremost use would be to spray cooking pans, but as he shared his idea, people mentioned they could use the device for buttering popcorn, vegetables, bread rolls or creating the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
“I still get new people every day with new ideas,” Foreman said. “It’s really neat to see all the uses people think of.”
Right now, the biem can be pre-ordered though Kickstarter and will be delivered in September, Foreman said. The biem will retail for between $99 and $149, Foreman said. As of now, he said he is not sure where the product will be manufactured, but said he hopes to look into having the work done locally.