Danone has taken a step forward in personalised, smart packaging solutions. Its Spanish natural mineral water brand, Font Vella, has announced the upcoming launch of Coach2O, which it says is the first device to track water intake and coach consumers towards adequate hydration.
The device is in the form of a smart cap designed to fit most Font Vella bottles*. Once the cap is placed on their chosen bottle, the user can pair it with the Coach2o app which will then be ready to automatically measure the user’s water consumption.
Throughout the day, the ‘coach’ will follow the user’s progress and deliver appropriate messages – tips, facts about hydration, recommendations, encouragement – depending on their hydration level and the context of his or her day. The user will be reminded to drink water at regular intervals via a blinking signal on the cap.
The above is made possible thanks to an innovative sensing technology developed by Danone’s partner, water.io.
Coach2O will initially be launched in Spain as a test market, and if successful Danone says it may continue to explore opportunities in other markets in the near future.
The growth of personalisation
Aside from the health benefits, the new device is also a way for Danone to meet the increased demand from consumers for personalisation in the products they buy. The company says all reminders and recommendations it conveys throughout the day are based on data the user first input into the app at first use (age, sex, physical activity, etc.).
According to a company spokesperson, “Personalisation is indeed a real trend that consumers are expecting more and more, and that technological developments are increasingly enabling. But more than a trend, at Danone we believe that personalisation through technology is a key lever to help people adopt healthier eating and drinking habits.
“When the user first registers in the app, she or he is invited to establish her or his hydration profile. We know that each individual’s ideal hydration level is determined by gender, age and body size. It’s what we call their hydration profile. So as a baseline, the embedded algorithm in the app will set the daily goal depending on that hydration profile.
“Ultimately, our goal is to make hydration easier, one sip at a time.”
But of course, an individual’s need for hydration also depends on their level of physical activity throughout the day. That’s why, Danone says, it has introduced a second algorithm into the app which calculates how much the user should drink if, for example, they run for an hour that day or play a football match. The user can also set recurring physical activities in the app’s calendar.
‘A different kind of relationship with consumers’
The above could be seen as part of a wider drive within Danone to promote healthier consumer habits in general.
“What is valid for hydration is also valid for nutrition, in a broader sense. At Danone, we see in smart packaging the opportunity for brands to establish a different kind of relationship with consumers; bringing more value, services or sense of purpose in a much more direct and personal way than via traditional channels.
“The new generation of consumers is changing. There is an increased understanding that the food and beverages we choose will impact our health, how we perform and how we age. There’s also a preference for brands that get involved for people’s wellbeing and aspirations to feel and live better. This is at the core of our mission and DNA, and part of what our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision encapsulates.”
When it comes to connected devices and smart packaging, we are only really at the beginning of what can be achieved. Applications for these technologies will continue to expand as they become cheaper to implement and more efficient.
* Note that the cap will soon be made available to fit all Font Vella bottles.