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Luv the Nug

Luv the Nug: Scotsman Ice’s Chew-In Events and Prodigy Machines

Luv the Nug Truck

Since 2011, Scotsman Ice’s Luv the Nug truck has traveled the United States sharing the ever-so-popular nugget ice. This soft and chewable and was created by Scotsman just over 32 years ago.  Little did they know they started a revolution in ice chewing.

e Nug

People’s Passion for Nugget Ice

People’s interest and passion for nugget ice grew to become so popular that Scotsman rolled out this Luv the Nug truck.  It hit the ground running and makes stops all over to meet with end users so everyone can share their love for nugget ice.

This week’s video speaks volume about how much people really love Scotsman’s nugget ice.  One of the businesses featured shares how people will pay over $2 just for a cup of it.

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Scotsman’s Prodigy™ machines that produce the ice are reliable, eco-friendly, cost less and are proactive in their own maintenance. More particular into the self maintenance, the Prodigy™ machines have self-monitoring technology that communicates with easy to understand universal language symbols. They also have external lights that indicate operational status and warn of possible production interruptions (which can save a restaurant or foodservice a huge headache).

Prodigy™ machines also have hard water condition detection that purge mineral-laden water with every freeze cycle.  This reduces scale build-up and extends time between cleaning.  Last, these machines have Agion™, an antimicrobial agent that reduces the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and yeast within an ice machine. So foodservices, restaurants and Luv the Nug fans all over can rest assured Scotsman’s nugget ice is great! Interested in putting nugget ice at your establishment? Shop online or watch this week’s video from Scotsman.

Nugget Ice: Scotsman Continues Luv the Nug Campaign

On St. Patrick’s Day of 2011, Scotsman Ice Systems kicked off their Luv the Nug campaign at Central featuring the Luv the Nug truck and the very popular nugget ice.  Over the years nugget ice has become extremely popular and many started to call it chewable ice or Sonic ice.  Just to keep the record straight, Scotsman was the first to create this soft and chewable ice, “nugget ice”, just over 30 years ago.

The Luv the Nug campaign began after Scotsman discovered the popularity of nugget ice, especially via social media.  People were creating Facebook pages for it and talking about it everywhere.  So what better way to celebrate their 30th anniversary than to get back to their roots?  After all, customers and businesses all over the country were in love with this ice and Scotsman was finally able to witness it firsthand when they traveled all across the east side of the country to meet with vendors and customers.

Nugget ice

“One of the things I love with the truck is actually being able to see the actual customers loving the product,” said Terry Toth, marketing communications manager for Scotsman.

She added people have such an emotional connection to the ice.

Does that sound strange? Possibly.  To some, ice is just ice.  But for others, it’s a different story.  Nugget ice has been a source of comfort for patients at a hospital, those recovering from an injury or chewing ice can be a fun small activity.  For others, it might just be something to pass the time, or to chew on throughout the day.

Restaurants, quick service establishments, cafeterias and all other types of foodservices are able to see their customers reactions to a product immediately as they serve it.  However for those of us on the equipment side, we rarely get that opportunity.  That’s one of the things that has made the Luv the Nug campaign so special for Scotsman.

Nugget chewable ice machineThis year, Scotsman has continued their campaign and have taken the Luv the Nug truck to many other cities such as Boston and St. Louis.  They enjoy meeting the companies that sell their ice and best of all–the customers who buy the ice.

Through the Luv the Nug campaign, nugget ice lovers can visit LuvTheNug.com to find locations near them that sell the ice, participate in sweepstakes, demand nugget ice in their area, rally for a visit from the Luv the Nug truck, purchase merchandise and learn about the origins.

Interested in getting a nugget ice machine?  Check out Central’s selection of Scotsman ice machines on our website.

Ice, Ice and More Ice! Which Type of Ice Is Best for You?

When the Scotsman Luv the Nug truck made a visit to Central on St. Patrick’s Day of 2011, we learned a little bit more about ice than we already knew—people love it and some are even borderline obsessed with it.

Of course, people enjoy ice in their beverages.  But with the large selection of styles now available, people have preferences.  These range from different types of ice to how much ice they want in their beverage.  Then on the other end of the spectrum, there are certain types of ice ideal for displaying and serving food on.

So with a variety of ice types to choose from, it may make you wonder which type of ice is best to use at your establishment.

While different ice machine manufacturers may have different names for the different styles of ice,  all the styles can really be categorized to the following four: classic cubes, gourmet or crescent cubes, flake ice and nugget ice.

 Classic Cubes

This is your simple standard ice.  Its simplicity makes it great for most applications.  According to Scotsman, this type of ice works well for ice dispensing, mixed drinks, carbonated beverages, ice displays, ice retailing and banquet services.

Gourmet or Crescent Cubes

There are a few different kinds of gourmet or crescent cubes.  If you browse through Central’s selection of ice machines, you will see many machines produce “top hat,” “cublet” or “octagon” cubes.

These different types of ice are slow-melting and have a higher displacement which means a higher profit for you.  They are usually found in restaurants, bars and banquet facilities.


Flake Ice

Flake ice consists of small, hard bits of ice that are dry and cool quickly.  It’s great for meat or seafood displays, salad bars, blended cocktails and even therapeutic use. From the Manitowoc website, flake ice is great for serving because the soft, small pieces of ice form around an object without bruising.

Nugget Ice

There are so many different names for nugget ice from “chewable ice” to “Sonic ice.”  Nugget ice is flaked ice compressed into small nuggets—and because of its soft texture, it’s easy to chew. Also, it keeps beverages cooler longer.  It’s commonly used for carbonated beverages, meat or seafood displays and salad bars.

“It’s more energy efficient than cube ice because it uses 50 percent less water than making cube ice,” added Terry Toth, marketing communications manager for Scotsman.  “It also lowers syrup cost per cup, (there’s a) higher liquid displacement.”

Nugget ice is seeming to be a favorite among ice lovers.  So adding nugget ice to your establishment may differentiate you from surrounding stores, which may help you get a leg up on your competitors.

Luv the Nug

Delving in a little bit deeper in to nugget ice, last year marked the 30th anniversary of Scotsman’s nugget ice, so they created a social media campaign and built a truck (Luv the Nug) to travel across the country.  This enabled them to witness people’s love for nugget ice first hand and hear personal stories.

Image: Luv The Nug

“Usually food equipment companies don’t get to taste the product they create, so it was really unique,” Toth said. “It’s a different type of interaction that I’ve never experienced.”

With their different campaigns and contests, they learned people loved chewing on ice for a variety of reasons.

“Some chew on it because they were introduced for medical reasons; people have said nurses said to chew on it to prevent ulcers from forming,” Toth explained. “Then some just went to Sonic and got lots and lots of ice, or went to a convenience store and purchased bags.  There were many different reasons which is why we looked through social media.”

The Luv the Nug truck will be touring again this year, kicking off in Boston this June.  They also have added a free app people can use to find the nearest location to them that serves nugget ice.  The app and tons of other nugget ice information can be found at LuvTheNug.com.  Also–if you serve nugget ice at your establishment, be sure to check and see if are on the list! If not, you can add your location so people can come to you for their nugget ice.

So How Much Ice Do You Need?

It’s important to purchase an ice machine that produces the correct amount of ice for your establishment. Too much or too little ice runs you the risk of wasting money or not having enough ice for your customers.

While it may seem small, ice is a huge asset to a foodservice establishment, so you need to be sure you’re set. Central put together this buying guide which not only explains how much ice you need, but includes other helpful tips about ice machines too.

What’s your story with ice? Why do you love it? What have you seen with your customers?

The Nugget Ice Revolution!

For over 60 years, Scotsman Ice Systems has been an innovative company.  From Energy Star rated products to state-of-the-art diagnostics, they really have it all when it comes to an ice machine.  One of the things they are known most for is their nugget ice—which is also sometimes known as chewable ice.  We’ll get to that shortly…

But first! With summer just around the corner and restaurants still keeping a tight budget due to economic conditions, Central and Scotsman have teamed up for customers considering or needing to purchase a new machine.  Prices have been lowered on select Scotsman machines through the end of June.  Click this link to see what ice machines are on sale.  Also, until the end of July, customers can receive a free water filter system with the purchase of a 120V Scotsman Prodigy.

Now, back to the ice.

Thirty years ago, Scotsman rolled out their first nugget ice machine and as they say on their website, “started a revolution in ice chewing.”

They truly have as they’ve been an industry leader in the Original Chewable Ice.

You’ve ran across this type of ice in gas stations, restaurants, hospitals, etc. all over. It’s described as soft and easy to chew. There are people who don’t have a preference, people that just like it, and then people who love it. There truly has been a revolution of this ice and it all really came to fruition thanks to social media.

To name a few efforts by ice lovers all over, chewable ice became a topic on Twitter and many Facebook fan pages have been made.  And as soon as Scotsman realized how big it was, they implemented the “Luv the Nug” social media campaign, which includes the now famous Luv the Nug Truck which travels from city to city.  Many people generalize this type of ice, or give it a name from places they know such as Sonic.  But it originated from Scotsman and they are getting back to their fans and bringing awareness to the love for…ice!

Luv the Nug truck (Photo from Terry Toth)

“So far we have had the Nug truck in the Indianapolis and Cincinnati areas,” said Terry Toth, Marketing and Communications Manager for Scotsman.

The Luv the Nug Truck keeps on going with upcoming stops in Knoxville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia then to Chicago, Illinois for the NRA (National Restaurant Association) show. After that, they are west of the Mississippi River bound!

This past St. Patrick’s Day, Scotsman came to Central with the Luv the Nug truck.  (Take a look here at our Facebook photo album).  We learned how much people love the ice and what Scotsman has done for the fans—a truly creative and unique social media campaign.

By visiting the Luv the Nug website, chewable ice lovers can find nugget ice locations, demand nugget ice machines for businesses that don’t have them, buy nugget ice merchandise, learn about how it originated and even enter in a contest to win a Scotsman ice machine. They can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.  There are many things in the works so this campaign will only get better and better as time goes on!

Toth has noticed many happy people from the Luv the Nug Truck.  Usually they work with people of the trade but now are able to meet the people who love their product and get to hear their stories from those who had family memories by it to those who had nugget ice while in the hospital.

Luv the Nug Truck in Cinncinati (Photo from Terry Toth)

“What’s great is our research on our trend, why they chew on it is coming to fruition and what they profess on social media when visiting Nug truck stops,” Toth said.  “It’s really great to see it all first hand. (We learn) the reasons why they chew, but also there are people entering the Lid Off contest and writing about their love for chewing.”  (Click here to view submissions or send in your own.)

So if you’re looking for nugget ice, check out their locator. If you know there is one, but it’s not listed, go to the locator page (Find the Nug) to add a location from your area with nugget ice.  And if there aren’t any locations around you, demand it!

And while there is the contest to win a free machine, if you don’t, take a look at our Scotsman promotion.  Also, we would love to hear your story or love for nugget ice.  It’s quite a fascinating trend, please share!

Why replace old equipment?

With everyone trying like crazy right now to cut costs and save money, it seems rather tough to justify the expense of a brand new fridge, freezer or ice machine.

There are incentives to buying used equipment…but often it ends up costing more in the long run, due to increased utility costs, down time and repair costs.

Following is information we have collected in case studies, comparing apples to apples to figure out just how much money is saved by purchasing new, energy saving equipmentv versus holding onto that old equipment.

Ice Machines

Ice is especially important when it comes to energy efficiency because it’s used by virtually every diner; and because of the potential to drastically waste water and electricity in the kitchen.

When an ice machine is running inefficiently or becomes overheated, you’re basically paying money to pour water down the drain.

Advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to build much more efficient ice machines than they could 10 years ago. Scotsman’s Prodigy cuber was one of the first to exceed both the 2008 California Energy Commission and 2010 Federal Energy Efficiency regulations by up to 22%.

The efficiency of commercial ice machines is rated in terms of the harvest rate, or pounds of ice produced daily; the energy usage in KWh; and the water usage in gallons.

Consider a typical 10-year old cuber. The machine can cost 36% more in electricity and water than the Energy-Star rated Prodigy Cuber model# C0330SA-1A.

Assuming a utility rate of $.10, which is the national average, the Energy Star model saves up to $114 a year in energy, and as much as $90 a year in water—that’s real savings of $612 over a 3-year period!

Plus, the Prodigy cuber reduces the need for downtime and service calls with a warning system that alerts you to interruptions before they occur, and offers reminders for required maintenance like filter changes and cleanings. What if you had to pay $400 for a service call every two years? You’d also have to pay at least $100 for 25 bags of ice during downtime. That amounts to $300 a year.

Combining the cost of electric and water, you could save more than $2000 over a 10-year period (not including repairs)—that’s enough to cover the cost of your ice machine.

Plus, some utility companies offer a one-time utility rebate for qualifying Energy-Star rated ice machines. According to Energy Star’s Rebate Locator, utility companies in Illinois, Minnesota, California and Oregon currently offer rebates.

In California, where the utility rate is higher than the national average (about $.13), a customer can save up to $2500 in 10 years.

Hot Holding Cabinets

Hot food holding cabinets must meet a maximum idle energy rate of 40 watts/cubic foot. They are more efficient at maintaining food temperature while using less energy. Energy Star hot holding cabinets are better insulated to reduce heat loss, and often have additional energy saving devices like magnetic door gaskets, auto-door closures or Dutch doors.

If you compare a non-insulated cabinet, to an insulated, Energy Star cabinet, C539-HDS-4, you can save nearly $400 in utilities over the first year (assuming a $.10 utility rate). The unit pays for itself in about six years; and in 10 years, you can save nearly $4000.

In addition, the estimated energy savings generated by using an insulated Energy Star hot holding cabinet vs. a non-insulated cabinet are equivalent to the carbon consumed annually by .63 acres of pine or fir forests.

(Note: Although model# C539-HDS-4 is Energy Star rated, it is not eligible for a utility rebate because the idle energy rate -the rate of consumption while maintaining a stabilized operating condition- is higher than 20kW.)

Refrigerators and Freezers

Perhaps the most important pieces to replace with Energy Star equipment are refrigerators and freezers, because they consume more energy than any other appliances in the kitchen. Energy Star refrigerators and freezers are designed with components such as ECM (electronically commutated motor) evaporators and condenser fan motors, hot gas anti-sweat heaters, or high-efficiency compressors, which significantly reduce energy consumption and utility bills.

True Refrigerators

True Manufacturing has been making commercial refrigeration for more than 60 years, and even units that are 10 years old have stood the test of time. Nevertheless, each line of True refrigerators and freezers continue to be more efficient and more advanced than the one before it.

You can save $194 a year in utilities on the T-49 solid-door refrigerator, compared to a 10-year-old refrigerator (assuming an average utility rate of $.10.). That amounts to almost $2000 over 10 years.

Again, some utility companies will pay you a one-time rebate of $150 for buying the T-49 refrigerator.

In California, you can save $403 during the first year (based on the higher utility rate of $.13), after you include your $150 rebate. During the next nine years, you could save an estimated $253 each year, amounting to savings of about $2600 over a 10-year-period.

True Freezers

Compared to a 7-year-old freezer, the True 49”W Energy Star freezer T-49F, can save almost $250 a year. And many states offer a one-time rebate of $325, allowing you the potential to save nearly $600 in the first year.

Turbo Air Refrigerators

Now consider another well-known brand—Turbo Air. Refrigerator , Model# MSR-49NM also a 49”W solid-door unit, could save an estimated $175 annually, again assuming a utility rate of $.10.

California customers with a $.13 utility rate would save about $378 in the first year, after receiving a $150 rebate. Total savings over 10 years would be about $2430.

Turbo Air Freezers

The 49”W Turbo Air freezer model TSF-49SD would save about $533 in the first year, (including the $325 utility rebate), and about $208 each following year. California customers would save about $595 the first year, and about $270 each following year.


High efficiency steamers offer shorter cook times, higher production rates and reduced heat loss due to better insulation and more efficient steam delivery systems. They also use less water – often just two or three gallons per hour, compared to 25 to 30 gallons per hour for standard models.

If you compare the Cleveland SteamChef 3, to an 8-year old model, average yearly energy savings can be as much as $888! And you can save more than $1000 in annual water bills. That amounts to nearly $20,000 in potential savings over a 10-year period.

For a customer in California, paying an average utility rate of $0.13, average yearly savings could be as much as $2000.

In addition, some utility companies offer a one-time rebate of up to $750!

Convection Ovens

According to the Foodservice Technology Center, Energy Star plans to start rating ovens sometime in 2009. Although Vulcan gas convection oven model VC4GD is not rated, it does have a unique heat recovery system that recirculates heated air to save energy and reduce operating costs.

Utility savings for this unit can be as much as $365 a year, which amounts to more than $1000 over a three year period. This estimate is based on an estimated natural gas cost of $1.00 per therm, operating an average of 12 hours per day, and cooking about 100 lbs of food.

Many states also offer a one time utility rebate of up to $500.

The energy saved by this unit versus a 5-year-old standard efficiency unit results in an annual natural gas savings of 365 therms, which is the equivalent of CO2 emissions from 207 gallons of gasoline or 4.2 barrels of oil!


According to the Foodservice Technology Center, the broilers is probably the most energy-hungry appliance in your kitchen – often using more energy than six fryers.

Garland’s High Efficiency (HE) Broiler has cast iron burners, each with its own cast iron radiant. The unit also has a power switch operation and a continuous electric spark ignition ensuring a consistent main burner flame during operation.

Assuming an estimated natural gas cost of $1.00 per therm, and that the broiler is used an average of 12 hours a day, you can save as much as $1700 a year, compared to a 5-year-old standard efficiency broiler – that adds up to savings of more than $5000 over a three year period; in 10 years, you can save as much as $17,000!

Pre-rinse spray valves

All pre-rinse valves use a spray of water to remove food waste from dishes prior to cleaning in a dishwasher – a low-flow pre-rinse spray valve is one of the easiest and most cost-effective energy saving devices available to the foodservice operator.

A low-flow pre-rinse spray valve can save up to 60 gallons of water a day; .5 therms of gas per day in water heating energy and also saves 60 gallons in waste-water. The result is an average reduction in utility costs of $300-$350 a year, if you use the pre-rinse spray valve about an hour each day. This estimate is based on spray-valve savings on 1 gallon per minute; a water cost of $2.00 per unit and a gas rate of $1.00 per therm, which is the national average.