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Brief Published: 20 May 2016

Scented Cup Simulates Flavour

The Right Cup

New York-based product start-up The Right Cup has developed a series of scented cups that trick the brain into thinking that plain water is flavoured with fruit, offering a substitute for calorie-laden sugary drinks.

Currently available in four flavours – Mixed Berry, Apple, Lemon & Lime and Orange – each cup comprises a clear outer container, a curved colourful inner container and a coloured lid.

During the manufacturing process, aromatic fruit scents are embedded into the cups, giving the contained water a subtly sweet taste and strong fruity aroma.

The cup works on the premise that the majority of our experience of flavour comes from our sense of smell. But the cups also play on the human body’s easily-tricked senses in other ways. For instance, the brightly coloured cups cue the brain to expect certain flavours – such as red for berries, and green for apple.

The cups retain their aroma for around six months, and the company expects to release new flavours on a regular basis, including Peach and Cola.

The Right Cup was fully funded within four days of its launch on crowdfunding website Indiegogo in November 2015, and had raised over 860% of its target by January 2016, to the tune of $588,446.

Leveraging colour to create targeted taste sensations is a popular technique being explored by food designers and brands. See Colour-Coded Dining, Pantone’s Colour-Coded Café and Food & Colour: Visualising Flavour for more.

For broader insights into beverage trends, see The New Energy Drink, part of our New Food Frontiers Industry Trend, as well as Charting New Waters.