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Brief Published: 12 Sep 2019

Mug Combats Coffee-Shop Loneliness


As discussed in Generation Lonely, more than two in 10 adults in the US and the UK say they always or often feel lonely (The Economist, 2018). Offering an antidote to this epidemic, Norwegian start-up Skravlekopp has created a mug to ignite coffee-shop conversations between strangers.

The green mugs are inscribed with the word 'skravlekopp' (an amalgamation of the words 'chatterbox' and 'cup' in Norwegian), and are designed for customers to select in coffee shops to signify that they feel like chatting to others seated nearby. The mug is intended to break the awkwardness between strangers and act as a starting point for dialogue.

"It turns out that [many people] are a little shy and are often afraid to disturb others," states the brand's website. "We need a small signal that we are available and would like a chat. Maybe you can talk to someone you've never talked to before; maybe you can teach something you're good at; maybe you can learn something you didn't know; maybe you can meet again, maybe not."

The initiative is a simple and easy way to stimulate connections between the increasing numbers of people who are dining alone, by choice or otherwise, as covered in Future Family Dining. Read also Hospitality's Bonding Power and Hospitality with Heart for other social projects harnessed by restaurant and hotel brands that create a sense of community between consumers.

See also Packaging Futures 2019: The Human-Centric Approach for packaging concepts that encourage dialogue and interaction between shoppers.