TOP Packaging expert believes time could be ripe for patented technology

PepsiCo explores smell: the undiscovered drinks frontier...

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Olfaction or the sense of smell is linked to taste as a form of chemoreception, so it's little wonder big brands like PepsiCo are keen to profit (Picture Credit: Hannah K Photography)
Olfaction or the sense of smell is linked to taste as a form of chemoreception, so it's little wonder big brands like PepsiCo are keen to profit (Picture Credit: Hannah K Photography)

Related tags: Olfaction

A top packaging expert suspects the 'timing is coming good' for beverage packaging that encapsulate smells to woo consumers after PepsiCo’s patent filing seeking US protection in this field.

On Tuesday we broke the news​ that PepsiCo filed the patent application – published internationally in March 2013 – seeking to patent its ‘aroma delivery system’ that uses miniature gelatine capsules filled with aroma compounds, which are broken when one twists open a bottle lid, for instance.

Reflecting on the invention and its potential industry impact, Andrew Streeter, director of CPS International and packaging innovations director at Datamonitor told “I think Pepsi may be on to something but it’s also a question of timing in getting it right for the market.

“I suspect the fragrance aroma needs to deliver something over and above what is in the bottle, so it’s a challenge between fragrance emanating from the liquid and that from capsules,”​ he added.

Possible problem for vegetarians?

One potential pitfall for PepsiCo could be the fact that Pepsi is 100% vegetarian, as are most carbonated soft drinks, as Streeter explained.

“If there is a chance of ingesting the capsules, which I presume are harmless, in that scenario the product is no longer vegetarian as the capsules are derived from cow by-products.”

Streeter said he had come across flavor encapsulation within packaging but not really in any depth to date, noting flavour usage in inks for publicity purposes and the promotion of fragrances and coffee,“products where the aroma is key”.

Nescafe Gold Blend

Nescafé’s instant coffee aroma

Referencing a ‘scratch and sniff’ wine label for South African wine Bellingham Citrus Grove​ that reveals tasting notes, Streeter said he believed the kind of aromas released by labels were “a bit crude compared to the real thing, but things have progressed since”.

Around 15 years Streeter said he was involved in the production of a packaging film that had an aroma imbedded in the film itself – rather than printing something on its surface.

“This was a bit ahead of its time and was in New Zealand,”​ he added.

Nestle brand Nescafe had also exploited the opportunity lent by a gas flush that created a partial vacuum in glass coffee jars, Streeter said, to give the consumer an instant coffee aroma “that is real enough”​ when they puncture the protective membrane.

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1 comment

Smell at POP helps sell a product

Posted by Carmine Santandrea,

My concerns with putting any aroma where consumers can ingest it is going to be a concern.
On the other hand, if you put a fragrance of the product or the promotion at point of purchase is likely to sell that product and create a long term memory for that product. This is what smell does naturally. Long term memory of a product is what Brands crave in helping build brands in peoples minds. If it smells good it will be a good memory.

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