Under this partnership, Danone will incorporate Water.io’s ‘smart cap’ technology into its Spanish mineral water brand, Font Vella.
According to Danone, the cap is synced to a mobile app called Coach2O, which helps to monitor its user’s water consumption so it can “coach them towards adequate hydration”.
The user enters his personal profile (including details such as age, gender, height and weight) into the app, which then builds a unique hydration profile for him based on his details and level of physical activity. It also allows him to set daily hydration targets, and adjust the settings to suit his requirements.
The smart cap tracks how often the user opens and closes the bottle daily so it knows how much water he drinks, and emits a blinking light to indicate when he needs to hydrate, whereupon the app will send a notification to remind him of the same.
The smart cap comes in a clip-on design that fits over the bottle cap of Font Vella mineral water bottles, minimising the risk of water damage to the device. It is sold separately, and can be removed and fitted over other Font Vella bottles.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Water.io CEO and co-founder Kobi Bentkovski said: “The technology is very unique — it’s essentially an IOT for packaging, and we use it to combine regular consumer goods with smart technology.
“We call it a ‘digital transformation’ for consumer packaged goods (CPG), and the full platform is known as the Internet of Packaging, whereby we develop packaging that can generate data.
“This collaboration with Danone is very important for us, because it applies our technology to everyday products on a large scale, and personalises products to suit individual customers — in fact, this is the first time a CPG has been personalised.”
Danone Waters’ VP of Research and Innovation, Bruno Dasque, said the firm’s scientists had learnt a great deal about the science of hydration in recent years, and its open innovation capabilities now enabled it to share this knowledge with consumers via digital and personalised solutions.
Prior to partnering with Danone, Water.io’s smart caps had been used by other companies, such as packaging firm Visy, which brought the technology to Australia and New Zealand.
However, its collaboration with Danone is bound to chalk up greater visibility for the company and its technologies. Furthermore, it corresponds with the trend of reusing plastic bottles, amid an increasing level of environmental consciousness that discourages the use of single-use plastic containers.
Bentkovski said: “Before Danone approached us, Water.io had already launched the smart cap technology for use by other companies. It began with an Israeli brand called Eden Spring in 2018, and it was very successful — we will continue doing this with more brands, both in Israel and overseas.
“We want our product to have worldwide applications. Currently, it is being used by beverage brands, but we are also working on more verticals. We will soon use this technology for wellness, CPGs, vitamins, homecare solutions, and pharmaceutical products.
“We hope to launch in APAC in the near future, though we are focusing on Israel and Europe at the moment. We have a few APAC markets in mind, as well as a few early connections, but I cannot disclose any more details right now.”
The overarching idea, he said, was to offer a greater level of personalisation to consumers through finished products, and help brands to increase engagement with their customers.
Danone plans to make the smart caps available internationally, though Bentkovski said he could not reveal which countries it was targeting.
Similar to the set-up in Spain, the smart caps will be compatible exclusively with beverage brands under the Danone umbrella.