PepsiCo has launched a new smart bottle for its American sports drink brand Gatorade. The bottle’s “smart” cap, in combination with an app and a sweat patch for real-time measurement, tells athletes when it’s time to drink. The new Smart Bottle is an exciting example of digitalisation and the Internet of Packaging (IoP). This is an area that has a future, although our industry has lost sight of it somewhat due to the many operational and acute issues. Yet it combines real added value for brands and consumers. However, it is important to think IoP concepts through to the end. The focus is on the three Cs: Content, CTA and Context.
PepsiCo’s Gatorade Smart Gx bottle has been available on Gatorade.com since October 2022 for 69.99 USD. The set includes the bottle, a four-pack of Gx Pods (flavour concentrate to mix with water) and two Gx sweat patches. Gatorade says the bottle is the world’s first “smart” squeeze bottle and the only smart bottle with an active light-up cap.
The smart cap
The smart cap features a series of sensors that track the daily progress of the user as well as the fill level of the bottle. The results are displayed by a series of small LEDs in the upper part of the cap. In this way, consumers not only find out when it is time to take a drink. They also receive information about when the bottle needs to be refilled.
Currently, the Gatorade Gx app is only available for Apple’s iOS. It is promoted by the company as a personalised nutrition and training platform. To start using it, users need to sync their Smart Bottle with the app.
Subsequently, they can use the app to track how much liquid they have consumed each day. According to Gatorade, users can also view all important health data and analysis results in the Gx app.
As fluid needs vary from consumer to consumer depending on their activity and constitution, the Gx package offers personalisation in the form of individualised advice on fluid intake.
To determine the amount needed and the right times, the sweat patch collects data. The result of the data analysis is communicated to the consumer via the app or the smart cap of the bottle. The app also provides basic advice on fluid requirements and intake.
The Smart Gx Bottle has a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged via USB. According to the company, a full charge lasts around three to five days.
The IoP provider
PepsiCo’s development partner is the Israeli company impacX. Founded in 2015, the “Internet of Packaging company” touts itself as providing brands of water, vitamins, supplements and consumer goods with a connected experience through its IoP platform.
Digitisation and Internet of Packaging is an extremely exciting area. Unfortunately, our industry has lost sight of it somewhat due to the many operational and acute issues. The dominance of sustainability and the circular economy, as well as the multiple challenges posed by Corona and the Ukraine war with their massive consequences, are responsible for this.
But postponed should not be abandoned. Because digitalisation and IoP offer a lot of potential. This is where real added value is created for brands (entitlement) and consumers (fulfilment of needs).
However, in order to leverage the potential, IoP concepts must be thought through to the end. The 3 Cs are at the centre of this:
- Content: The offer must provide real added value.
- CTA: The call-to-action must work and ensure activation.
- Context: The offer must be in the right context. Otherwise, you are planting your valuable seeds in infertile soil.