Have some water: Danone seeks to improve hydration habits with “smart” cap technology
05 Mar 2019 --- Danone’s Spanish natural mineral water brand Font Vella has introduced a cap device that tracks water intake and instructs people toward adequate hydration. Coach20 is being developed in partnership with smart packaging start-up water.io.
Packed with sensors, Coach2O is a clip that covers the existing bottle cap – ensuring no contact between the water and the device – and records the volume of water taken in by its user. If need be, Coach2O reminds its user to drink via a series of blinks. The app companion connected to the clip brings a more personalized experience, with features such as daily hydration goal setting, adjusted to individual parameters and daily routine such as workouts.
It is a notable example of how brands are beginning to realize the massive potential of smart packaging technologies for enhancing customer loyalty and brand recognition. Garance Vidart, Global Corporates Communications Officer for Danone, tells PackagingInsights that smart packaging allows brands to establish more personal connections with consumers.
“We know through the studies that we conduct that a large part of the world population today is chronically dehydrated, leading to several mental and health conditions that can affect people’s lives, most of the time unknowingly. The current ‘analogous’ nature of our products so far limited our capacity to transmit actionable recommendations directly to consumers,” Vidart says.
“By making our water bottle ‘smart,’ we can now establish a more direct, personalized and actionable link with people willing to improve their drinking habits. Visualizing how much someone drinks, through data tracking and historical charts, brings motivation to improve one’s behavior.”
“Moreover, connectivity offers both the ability to personalize one’s objective for good hydration with individual settings – age, gender, physical characteristics and activity – and to deliver expert advice, alerts and reminders that can help establish new, healthier habits in the long run,” she adds.
According to Danone, this will be the first bottle of its kind of the European market. Vidart notes that consumers are increasingly concerned by how food and beverage products impact on health and that there is a preference for brands that take an active involvement in improving consumer wellbeing, which Font Vella’s new technology will tap into.
“With digital and hardware sensors that have now reduced in size and cost, the digitalization of food has emerged as a nascent field with a cohort of new offerings, fueling in return consumers’ quest for more personalized experiences,” Vidart continues.
“Many of these innovations are brought to life by entrepreneurs and start-ups who identify these emerging consumer needs and turn them into business opportunities. Water.io, our partner for the Coach2O initiative, developed this unique technology to assist people in their quest for healthier hydration,” she says.
How does it work?
At first use, the consumer is invited to fit the device on her or his favorite Font Vella bottle and download the companion app. Through an onboarding wizard, Coach2O is paired with the app, and the user is immediately invited to drink a sip of water from the bottle and visualize on the app the quantity measured by the cap. From there, she or he will be taken through the main functionalities of the app and establish her or his personal hydration profile, which defines her or his daily goal – set by the app’s algorithm, which takes into consideration age, gender and body size, as well as physical activity scheduled in a calendar.
“We know the first week is essential to establish a new habit. That’s why we also introduced a first-week program to help the user create a new routine and increase motivation for healthier hydration. It’s a combination of encouragements, tips and scientific facts that are all based on the science of good hydration that Font Vella and Danone have built over the years and that, through Coach2O, we are now able to share directly with consumers,” Vidart explains.
Smart packaging technologies prepare for large scale rollouts
Speaking to PackagingInsights during Packaging Innovations 2019, Cameron Worth, Founder of IoT agency SharpEnd, explained that he is expecting brands to start applying smart packaging technologies on a much larger scale because the technologies are becoming more standardized and cost-effective.
“We can now say to brands that there will be no change to their production lines when if they choose to integrate smart technologies into their packaging. The barriers to entry are being removed and at SharpEnd, we are experiencing a lot more interest from brands for Near-Field Communication (NFC) enhancements in particular with these complexities now removed,” Worth notes.
“This year (2019) you are going to start seeing the real mass-scale deployments across numerous markets. Cost-reduction was previously holding this back and brand owners are now starting to realize the potential of these technologies. Also, consumers are becoming more familiar with technologies like Apple Pay which will help to drive better engagements with smart packaging technologies,” he adds.
By Joshua Poole
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