Tea of a Kind has chosen to use the novel system with its new natural, low calorie tea range, and Gizmo co-founder and president Walter Apodaca compared the impact of his firm’s invention to that of the aluminium can.
The plastic system (pictured below with the new tea brand) features a pressurized bottle cap and a pressurized injection-molded chamber that operates in combination with various Gizmo closure designs.
The chamber is tailored to hold the required volume of colors, flavors, minerals, herbs or concentrates, and the system can be used with still drinks and carbonates.
New beverage concepts now viable
Application areas touted by Gizmo include sodas, fruit juices, coffee and tea, alcoholic drinks, waters and dairy products: milkshakes, fruit additives and yogurts.
Apodaca told BeverageDaily.com that other interest within beverages had led to a global licensing deal for Move Water to use its technology, within a functional, oxygenated water brand.
"We are also in serious discussions with key players in beer and spirits for projects ranging from...draft beer in a bottle to instantly mixed, fresh cocktails."
Gizmo claims that, using the system, it is now possible to develop beverage concepts that were not viable before, due to active ingredient instability in a formulation.
Ingredients are subject to pressurized release and mixing when consumers twist the cap – which can sit on a PET or glass bottle – with 90psi of force, effecting a beverage color change.
German-based packaging group RPC Bramlage-Wiko will make the closures, and the company said in a statement:“This means the ingredients are mixed at the point of consumption to provide a much fresher drink than any pre-mixed variety, as well as an eye-catching color change that enhances the opening experience,”
'Overwhelming' focus group tests
Quizzed as to the basis for fresher-tasting claims, Apodaca told this publication: "We conducted focus group testing for over a year on the product, and the results have been overwhelming, the quality of the aroma, color and fresh taste is unquestionable."
"We have also conducted tests through Brunswick's labs relative to antioxidant content, and the evidence is clear. Gizmo defends against degradation."
RPC Bramlage-Wiko added that a key requirement for the Tea of a Kind brand was preserving the natural essence of its teas.
“The Gizmo closure chamber provides protection for the natural flavors, real brewed tea and powerful antioxidants without the use of chemical preservatives,” RPC said.
“In addition, the chamber defends the ingredients against UV light, oxidation and other damaging conditions that can degrade the nutrients, and which most bottled beverages confront in the warehouse, on the delivery truck and store shelf.”
Playing the above-premium space
So how cost-effective was Gizmo as a solution, and would its extra cost rule the system out of anything that didn't play in the premium segment?
"Gizmo is not cost prohibitive, and our supply model was designed to allow us to fit into a very competitive mainstream beverage market," Apodaca told BeverageDaily.com.
"We certainly won't be as effective on the bottom shelf with economy brands, but that isn't the positioning.
"We are building equity [for Gizmo] by associating it with 100% natural and preservative-free brands, which tend to be in the above premium space."
Gizmo could cut costs by extending shelf life and cut input costs by eliminating content required to preserve color and flavor, Apodaca said.
"Lastly...we provide a solution to our manufacturing partners to run multiple flavors in a single shift with nominal changeover time."
Stands out against rivals
Apodaca said that Gizmo beat rivals in the space - one is Tap the Cap - since it was intuitive to use, while most rivals used powders and required consumers to shake and wait for dissolution.
"Very few closures use liquid content, and those that do are loaded with preservative and are not pressurized," he added, stressing Gizmo's all natural, preservative-free credentials.
"As a result, the experience is lackluster, and they lose an entire segment of the population that is not going to drink potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and sodium hexametaphosphate in a drink that is supposed to be healthy or support athletic function," Apodaca said.